The Houston Rockets added some defense and shooting on Friday with their signing of veteran shooting guard/small forward Thabo Sefolosha.
Sefolosha has been among a group of players attending the Rockets’ mini-camp in Las Vegas that includes Terrence Jones, Raymond Felton, Nick Young and Corey Brewer. Apparently, Thabo was quick to impress the Houston Rockets, as they already inked a deal with the journeyman from Switzerland.
Sefolosha has previously been a member of the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks and, most recently, the Utah Jazz. The swingman enjoyed his best years statistically during his stints in Atlanta and OKC, averaging 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game over the course of those seasons.
The signing will reunite Thabo with former teammate Russell Westbrook, with whom he spent six seasons playing, including their NBA Finals appearance in 2012. While he hasn’t been a very productive offensive player over his career, Thabo still possesses above-average perimeter defense to bring to Houston.
The signing is a low-risk one for the Rockets, considering the terms of the deal, as shared by Rockets Insider Alykhan Bijani:
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) September 20, 2019
A veterans minimum contract for a perimeter defender of Thabo’s caliber is certainly worth a shot. Sefolosha previously made the NBA All-Defensive Team back in 2010. At 6-7, Thabo will bring some needed size to the guard and small forward position, which will undoubtedly help the team’s rebounding, which was a major problem last season.
If you’re going to play for Mike D’Antoni and are under seven feet, you are going to need a 3-point shot in your arsenal. Sefolosha has shown he can hit from the outside with regularity. While his career average from downtown is 35.2 percent, Thabo’s most recent season with the Utah Jazz saw this jump to 43.6.
With superstars like James Harden and Russell Westbrook to spread the floor and dish dimes, the shots will be there for Sefolosha, and he will need to hit at a decent clip to get minutes on this loaded Rockets team.
Being that Thabo underwent knee surgery for an MCL injury last January, the important thing to monitor for the 35-year-old will be his health. If Thabo can stay healthy this season, he could play an important role for the Houston Rockets on both ends of the floor.