On June 23rd, 2009 (a day which will live in infamy), RJ 1.0 was traded to the Spurs for Bruce Bowen (who promptly retired), Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio "Fab" Oberto. We expected to be getting an athletic wing player who'd provide the missing ingredient for what was, even at the time, "one last title run."
Well, that didn't happen. "Tiny Ears," as he (un)affectionately became known, took far too long to learn the intricacies of the Spurs' system in his first year, and increasingly frustrated the fans with his lack of consistent production.
Jefferson's average between his two seasons with the Spurs:
On 6/30/10, after a poor showing in the playoffs, he opted out of his contract, which turned out to be a shrewd move as the Spurs quickly re-signed him three weeks later for $39 million over 4 years. Pop spoke of spending a lot of one-on-one time with RJ over the summer (oh, to be a fly on that wall), and for a while last season it looked like that hard work paid off, as Peanut became an effective spot-up shooter, raising his percentages across the board (and earning the new nickname of RJ 2.0.)
And then, the Spurs faced Memphis in the playoffs, and Jefferson disappeared entirely. Pop, at some point, had clearly had enough, has RJ found himself on the bench as the series came to a close.
As a new CBA agreement was reached just a few weeks ago, Spurs owner Peter Holt negotiated the fabled "Amnesty Clause" for teams, allowing them to waive a player whose contract had be come an albatross, and which could be used this year or next. The big question became: Would it be used on RJ? And if so, when? (SHOULD it be used on RJ?)
We have our answer, as the Jefferson era seems to be effectively over. What now? Word on the internets is that Caron Butler was seriously impressed when he met with the Spurs organization earlier today--is an announcement imminent? Or will a Shane Battier or a Josh Howard-type don the Silver & Black instead?