Jarrett Jack still sounded a little surprised Saturday that he was no longer a member of the Golden State Warriors. But the veteran guard knows the NBA life leads to sudden changes, and so, he's ready to move on to his next gig, in Cleveland, as a member of the Cavaliers.
The Cavs agreed to terms with the eight-year veteran, one of the top free agents on the market, on a four-year, $26 million deal that will be consummated after the NBA's moratorium on signing contracts ends July 10.
Jack became available after the Warriors reached agreement Friday with free agent Andre Iguodala on a four-year, $48 million deal, forcing them to have to renounce their rights to Jack and forward Carl Landry (who agreed to a deal in Sacramento Saturday) when the moratorium ends.
The Contra Costa Times first reported the agreement between Cleveland and Jack.
Jack was a key member of the Warriors' team last season that reached the second round of the playoffs. He teamed seamlessly with guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, often finishing games for Golden State as the team's primary ballhander and playmaker down the stretch.
Jack averaged 17.2 points per game in the playoffs for Golden State, shooting 50 percent from the floor and scoring 20 or more six times.
After playing for four teams earlier in his career, the 29-year-old Jack, whom Golden State had acquired last summer in a three-team deal from New Orleans, thought he had found a long-term home. He spoke often of how the Warriors were a closer team than any he had played on. But the business side of the game came down on him Friday.
"I was really shocked, being that they expressed to me and my agent that I was the number one priority," Jack said by telephone Saturday. "They met with me before July 1st, put their whole spiel on the table and said everything. To the point of me not even getting a phone call, that's probably the craziest part. Not getting a heads up to it was probably more shocking than anything. But it is what it is."
Once Golden State's need to renounce Jack became clear Friday, the Cavs jumped on the chance to get him.
Jack said that Cleveland coach Mike Brown was central to his coming to the Midwest.
"Basically, the person that spearheaded the deal was Mike Brown," Jack said. "Chris Grant asked who he wanted, and the only person he brought up was me. To start off with a vote of confidence with the coach is big. I know what they have there with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. It seems like an organization that's first class, from everybody I've spoken with. It's time for a new challenge for me."
Jack's presence will give Irving more opportunities at shooting guard as well, as Cleveland -- which surprised almost everyone around the league by taking UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett first overall in last month's Draft -- continues to add talent and depth to its rebuilding team.
"I'm new to this situation like everything else," Jack said. "I haven't spoken with the coach on how they're going to incorporate me. With the type of money they're paying me they wouldn't do that with any old body. But I'm patiently waiting. I've always been a fan of (Brown's) from a distance, as a coach and as a person. It'll be cool to get an up close and personal view."