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Thabo Sefolosha to Hawks: Latest Contract Details, Analysis and Reaction

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Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2014

Updates from Tuesday, July 15

The Atlanta Hawks officially announced they have acquired Thabo Sefolosha via a sign-and-trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder via NBA.com:

The Atlanta Hawks completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder that will bring guard/forward Thabo Sefolosha to Atlanta, as well as the draft rights to Giorgos Printezis, in exchange for the draft rights to Sofoklis Schortsanitis, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

"Thabo is an unselfish, competitive and playoff-tested player, and does many things well on both sides of the ball,” Ferry said. "He also fills a need, giving us more size and depth at the wing position. He’s been a part of winning programs and will fit our culture well.”

Updates from Thursday, July 10

The Atlanta Hawks announced Thabo Sefolosha is officially a member of the team:

Original Text

After becoming an unrestricted free agent this summer, veteran shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha has agreed to a three-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com:  

Brian Windhorst of ESPN confirmed the terms of the deal:

To put Sefolosha's latest deal in proper perspective, his previous contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder was worth four years and $14.05 million, according to Spotrac.com.

The 30-year-old Switzerland native has spent the past five-plus seasons with the Thunder, playing a key role on the perimeter for the Western Conference contender. Known for his defensive prowess and three-point shooting, Sefolosha has started more than 400 regular-season games since entering the league in 2006 and is closing in on his 80th career playoff appearance. 

Apr 29, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha (25) dribbles the ball as Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) defends during the second quarter in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake E
USA TODAY Sports

Sefolosha is coming off a 2013-14 campaign in which he started 61 regular-season games for the Thunder, averaging 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game on 41.5 percent shooting from the field and 31.6 percent shooting from long range.

The 6'7" guard's disappointing offensive production was compounded by a calf strain that forced him to miss the entire month of March and the first week of April.

Sefolosha played sparingly throughout the 2014 NBA playoffs, but his struggles in the Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs led head coach Scott Brooks to bench him.

The Oklahoman's Anthony Slater pointed out the severity of his struggles at the time:

Despite Sefolosha's struggles, Brooks shifted the blame elsewhere, per SI.com's Ben Golliver

It’s unfair to label Nick and Perk and Thabo, that they need to score more. As a group, we need to play better for longer stretches against one of the best teams. We’re not asking for guys all of a sudden to be a 15-point scorer and block shots, we’re just asking the group to play better.

Although Sefolosha brings defense, toughness, energy and invaluable playoff experience to the mix, when he's unable to stretch the floor with his shooting, he can sometimes become a liability on offense.

However, if Sefolosha is able to settle into a defensive role off the bench, he's likely to have much more of an impact, as he won't be under pressure to score in double figures or shut down the opposing team's top scorer. 

 

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