Should Thabo Sefolosha remain a starter next season, or should he be replaced?
Darnell Mayberry: Yes. Thabo should remain the starter. He's still one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball, and now that he's knocking down 3-pointers he's got even more value in the first five.
John Rohde: The guy is coming off a career year. Why on earth bench him? He's never been more deserving to be a starter. Sefolosha is stuck with the misnomer “shooting” guard, though he is getting closer.
Berry Tramel: Thabo should remain a starter. The Thunder has excelled since the day Sefolosha entered the lineup after the trade with Chicago 4 1/2 years ago. The Thunder has plenty of offense in its starting lineup; Thabo gives OKC a defensive stopper from the start, when he's able to match up with the opponent's best perimeter player.
Should Sefolosha defend the opposing point guard more frequently because of his size and length?
Mayberry: If the situation calls for it, sure. It's not something the coaching staff should start off games doing and rely solely on, mostly because Russell Westbrook's actually great at it when he wants to be. But on those nights when Westbrook clearly doesn't have it, Brooks needs to have a shorter leash and get Thabo out front faster.
Rohde: Absolutely. Not all the time, but most of the time. This would make better use of Westbrook, who is a more effective wing defender because he can shut down one side of the court with his quickness rather than being stuck in the middle fighting through screens.
Tramel: I love that idea, although coach Scotty Brooks made a great point late in the year. With a Westbrook/Sefolosha tandem, the Thunder can switch on screens and feel good about either matchup. But the premise is good. Thabo can really bother point guards. I'd say put Thabo on whoever is the best perimeter player. That's usually the point guard.
At $3.9 million next season, is Sefolosha a bargain, or is he priced about right?
Mayberry: Tony Allen made $300,000 less than Thabo this season. That might say more about the sweetheart deal Memphis got, but based solely on that I can't sit up here and say Thabo is a bargain. So I'll go with about right.
Rohde: The price is about right, which actually makes Sefolosha a bargain. After all, how frequently can you say a player is properly priced after seven seasons when he's on the verge of becoming an unrestricted free agent? A player usually has been overpaid by that point, often for several years.
Tramel: He's priced about right. Not many NBA teams pay for defense, Especially perimeter defense. So Thabo is actually more valuable on a team like the Thunder than he would be on a mediocre team. Sort of the opposite of James Harden, who could command a max salary from a team seeking to build but wouldn't get it from a team that's already elite.