The Richard Jefferson signing occurred during a period of extreme angst for the Mavs front office and its fanbase. Cuban had just offered Chandler Parsons a max contract while enjoying the hospitality of an Orlando night club and every sect of the Maverick kingdom awaited the Rockets decision to match the offer.
In the meantime, the Mavs locked up 13-year veteran Richard Jefferson to a veteran's minimum contract. A brief meltdown occurred directly after the singing in the Mavs blogosphere after realizing that 2014 Richard Jefferson could possibly be logging 30+ minutes for the Mavs if Parsons did not sign. Fortunately, Parsons did sign, which relegates Jefferson to the bench unit.
A former All-Star and NBA Finalist, Jefferson represents the veteran ideal to which Carlisle loves to provide ample minutes. Jefferson will be called upon to fill the void Vince Carter left with his shooting on the court and professionalism off the court.
Looking back at last year
Last year Jefferson quietly had a very solid year for the Utah Jazz, scoring 10.1 points per game while logging 27 minutes per game. Jefferson worked as a stabilizer amongst the hodgepodge of young talent on the Utah Jazz squad.
Utah acquired Jefferson in a salary dump trade with Golden State that facilitated the Andre Igoudala signing for the Warriors. Jefferson was considered to be a washed up veteran after an underwhelming stint with the Spurs and a year spent with the Warriors in which he shot 31 percent from 3-point range.
However, Jefferson had a revival from 3-point land shooting an impressive 41 percent. Not only did Jefferson shoot the ball well, he attacked the basket much like the old Richard Jefferson with numerous dunks throughout the season.
Best case scenario
In the ideal situation, Jefferson would play 18-20 minutes off the bench, relieving Parsons and Monta on the wing. He'll maintain his elite 3-point stroke, which opens up driving lanes for the bench unit and maintains the integrity of the offensive structure. The Vince Carter-Brandan Wright pick and roll synergy is replicated between Jefferson and Wright.
Furthermore, Jefferson provides day-to-day high level of professionalism that Vince Carter brought to the locker room. On the defensive end, Jefferson picks up Carlisle's defensive system quickly and becomes a legitimate two-way player.
Worst case scenario
In a catastrophic season, Jefferson struggles to hit shots, which causes a severe spacing issue on the second unit. Jefferson is the only legitimate 3-point threat currently on the bench unit, and his shooting will be vital to buoying the offense while the main cogs sit. Carlisle lessens Jefferson's minutes due to his poor shooting and Jefferson becomes a distraction in the locker room.
The latter is much more unlikely than the former, but Jefferson's shooting is essential to the success of the bench unit. Without it, the Mavs have to rely solely on Devin Harris as an offensive spark off the bench and...gulp...Charlie Villanueva.
Can Richard replace Vince?
Vince Carter left a significant void on the bench unit with his departure to the Memphis Grizzlies. Vince was the Mavs best two-way player and worked as an offensive initiator on the bench unit. His all-around skill set is nearly impossible to replace at the salary he was making.
Even though Jefferson lacks the off-the-dribble creativity to fully replicate Carter's production, Jefferson's elite shooting coupled with a large workload from Parsons should be enough to replace Vince's production.
Lastly, Jefferson may be able to provide the occasional trip to the time machine for some highlight reel dunks as evidenced by this amazing highlight reel of old-man Jefferson dunks.