The Richard Jefferson era in Cleveland is officially over. The Cavaliers traded Jefferson, Kay Felder, and 2nd round draft considerations to the Atlanta Hawks in what ultimately boils down to a salary dump. If the Cavaliers couldn’t find a new home for Jefferson and Felder, they were looking at a $12 million luxury tax hit.
Jefferson only spent two seasons in Cleveland, but he was a key contributor to the 2015-16 Cavaliers squad that infamously came back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals to defeat the Golden State Warriors. There’s little doubt that he’ll be a hero in Cleveland forever, but his impact on the NBA reaches beyond on-court contributions.
During his time in Cleveland, Jefferson, along with teammate Channing Frye and Fox Sports Ohio reporter Allie Clifton, created the Road Trippin’ podcast. For those unfamiliar, Jefferson, Frye, and Clifton would record the podcast throughout the NBA season and would frequently land a host of Cavaliers-related guests, from players to coaches to trainers and everything in between. It was a fascinating look inside an NBA locker room during the grind of an 82 game regular season.
In the interest of being thorough, it’s worth mentioning that J.J. Redick did something similar with his excellent podcast at The Vertical, but Road Trippin’ had a more organic vibe to it. The free-flowing nature of their conversations along with the unpredictable guest drop-ins made it feel like you were inside the locker room with them.
Jefferson’s Cleveland exit leaves the future of the Road Trippin’ podcast in serious doubt. Channing Frye and Allie Clifton are still in Cleveland. Jefferson is technically heading to Atlanta, although ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that he’ll likely get bought out.
You also have to wonder if this spells the end of Jefferson’s basketball career. The Vertical’s Chris Mannix has already reported that Jefferson intends to continue playing, but that’s not entirely up to him. He’ll need to find a team willing to use a roster spot on a 37-year old swingman.
Channing Frye was asked about Road Trippin’s future, and he understandably didn’t have much to say on the topic.
Road Trippin’ has delivered countless incredible moments over its 50-episode run. As a matter of fact, we were fortunate enough to learn about J.R. Smith’s absurd coffee order in the latest episode that dropped on Friday. If this is the end of Road Trippin’, the NBA lost something really special.