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Richard Jefferson to the Spurs. What does it all mean?

Today's breaking news (or at least the first breaking news - several hints that there could be more coming) sends Richard Jefferson from the Bucks to the San Antonio Spurs for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas and Fabrico Oberto.

Let me start by saying, I told you so. This is a deal predicted a few weeks ago when I was talking about the NJ Nets:

Like the Bucks, the Nets as they currently stand aren't going anywhere. Their best bet would be to unload Carter in return for whatever they can get that will expire in 2010.

The best deal I heard from Tim over at 48 Minutes of Hell would be a deal with the Spurs. The Nets would get the expiring contracts of Boner, Mason, Finley and Bowen and the Spurs would get another guy that can score the ball. I still think the the Spurs would be better off doing this deal with the Bucks for Richard Jefferson but hey, for the Nets it would be a great move.

 As much as the rest of the West might be grimacing in pain, this or a similar move was inevitable for the Spurs.

San Antonio had a couple of the most valuable things this summer. Highly movable contracts in the form of Kurt Thomas's expiring $3.8m and even better the only partially guarantee deals of Bowen and Oberto totally $7.8m.

For the Bucks, they are able to save $6.5m this season which they sorely need. As we explored in their write up, the Bucks pre-deal only had about $3m available to try and resign free agents Ramon Sessions and Charlie Villanueva. And of course the Bucks who weren't going anywhere with their roster will have a about $10m more in salary room next summer (depending on how much/if they resign Sessions and/or CNuv).

With Bowen and Oberto likely getting bought out and perhaps returning to the Spurs, Kurt Thomas is really the only "player" in the deal left for the Bucks. We all know KT can still play and his presense will allow the Bucks to option to not overpay for Charlie.

A lot of people are going to look at this deal and think that the Spurs pulled a fast one and got over on the Bucks and the rest of us, but that's simply not the case. The Bucks made a good deal for their team and where it is (was).

The Spurs of course, did just get better. With a fourth scoring option on the wing the Spurs finally have some more firepower and some wiggle room should Manu Ginolbilli end up injured again. They do lose an important big man in Thomas and they are woefully thin up front behind Duncan. They don't have a ton of salary room left without paying a big tax bill, but you have to think they are going to find someone to come in and play with Boner and Oberto (if he returns).

The Spurs still have a couple of other attractive trade options in Roger Mason, Matt Boner and Michael Finely. I would not be surprised if the Spurs package some combination of those guys to get another big man. Maybe they go after Camby from the Clippers?

Overall, I think this is a solid deal for both teams and while the Spurs got better, I am not convinced they are suddenly a threat to challenge the Lakers in the West.

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