At least the Warriors know exactly what they missed out on this season. Richard Jefferson posted an image of the Cavaliers’ championship rings on Snapchat.
Jefferson is a former Warrior, and has a bit of a mixed legacy with the team. He was a decent enough role player during his Warriors tenure, but far removed from his prime in New Jersey.
The Warriors traded Stephen Jackson for him back in March of 2012, making it the second time the franchise had traded Jackson.
The first time was back in November of 2009 in the midst of rumored tension with Don Nelson. Jackson and Acie Law were shipped to Charlotte for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic.
Bell only played one game with the Warriors, and Radmanovic’s tenure with the Warriors was somewhat lackluster.
Known as a great perimeter shooter, Radmanovic’s shooting percentages were below his career averages both inside the arc and beyond the arc while playing for the Warriors.
Fast-forward a few seasons later and the Warriors were again reunited with Jackson, and his arrival and departure were both more influential this time.
He was included in the trade that sent Monta Ellis to the Bucks and brought Andrew Bogut to the Bay Area.
Bogut was an elite rim protector, great interior defender, and nice rebounder. He was instrumental in their championship win.
His absence during the end of the 2016 Finals was a gigantic blow, as it left the Warriors vulnerable to penetration inside.
Jackson was immediately traded before suiting up with the Warriors again, though. He was sent to the Spurs for Jefferson.
It wasn’t so much the performance of Jefferson that made him impactful in the Warriors’ return to dominance, but simply serving as a trading chip.
Mark Jackson actually recently lamented during a telecast that he thought Jefferson cost them the Spurs series in the 2013 playoffs with his missed free throws at the end of game 1.
The Spurs went on to send the game into overtime and eventually win the game. It’s not an entirely fair accusation to make, given that it was game 1 of the series.
However, it’s probably the clearest memory of Jefferson in a Warriors jersey, and his greatest value to the team ultimately ended up being as a moveable commodity.
During the 2013 offseason, the Warriors were going after some prominent free agents. Dwight Howard was their top priority, but they were also pursuing Andre Iguodala.
First and foremost, they needed to clear cap space. In a shrewd transaction to free up money to sign Iguodala, the Warriors sent Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, and Brandon Rush to the Jazz.
Those three players accounted for about $24 million, and Jefferson lead the way with $11 million.
So let’s recap: Jefferson was acquired for a player received in the Bogut trade, and was dealt in a trade that allowed for the signing of Iguodala.
At the risk of stretching this connection way too far, Jefferson was at least indirectly involved in both Bogut and Iguodala being added to the roster.
Each of those two players were key components on their championship team as well as their 73 win team. Jefferson was a part of the process in both of them joining the Warriors.
Jefferson being the one to give away the secret of these rings is interesting, given that he indirectly played a large role in building the historically great Warriors rosters we’ve seen these past couple years.
Golden State of Mind: Kevin Durant Makes Appearance at iPhone 7 Unveiling
Richmond Standard: James Michael McAdoo to Attend Richmond Votes Event
Yahoo Sports: Richard Jefferson Posts Image of Championship Ring
Sports Inquirer: Nonito Donaire “Boxes” Klay Thompson