The New Jersey Nets had taken Seton Hall’s Eddie Griffin with the seventh overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft and flipped him on draft night to the Houston Rockets to get back the rights to three first-rounders — 13th overall pick Richard Jefferson along with Jason Collins (18th) and Brandon Armstrong (23rd).
Jefferson alone made it a great deal for the Nets.
He earned second-team All-Rookie honors as a rookie primarily coming off the bench and averaging 9.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game while shooting .457/.232/.713.
He moved into the starting five in 2002-03 and never looked back.
Jefferson did miss the final 49 games of the regular season in 2004-05, returning for the playoffs, after rupturing a ligament in his left wrist in mid-January, an injury that likely cost him an All-Star berth as he was averaging more than 22 points a game at the time.
He returned in 2005-06 with another strong season and remained with New Jersey another two seasons before he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in June 2008.
From 2001-06, Jefferson averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 35.1 minutes per game on .481/.321/.777 shooting.
In postseason play during that span, Jefferson played in 66 games and put up 14.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 33.2 minutes a night while shooting .472/.299/.703.
After going to Milwaukee, Jefferson continued to grind his way with six other teams, including playing 20 games in 2017-18 with the Denver Nuggets and is currently an unrestricted free agent.