Oklahoma City Thunder: Thabo Sefolosha turns in a career year in 2012-13 season

Whenever Thunder general manager Sam Presti executes a rookie contract extension, usually there's quite a commotion. There has been little debate of Thabo Sefolosha's worth, however.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: May 26, 2013
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photo - NBA BASKETBALL: Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (2) goes past Memphis' Jerryd Bayless (7)  during Game 2 in the second round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
NBA BASKETBALL: Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (2) goes past Memphis' Jerryd Bayless (7) during Game 2 in the second round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

There has been little debate of Sefolosha's worth, however.

This upcoming season will be the final year of Sefolosha's contract and will pay him $3.9 million. Starting July 1, the Thunder has until the end of the contract (June 30, 2014) to re-sign Sefolosha, or he will become an unrestricted free agent.

Sefolosha came off the bench in his first appearance with OKC in 2009, but he has started every game since (other than the 32 games he has missed due to injuries).

Last season qualified as a career year for the 29-year-old Switzerland native, who set career highs in field-goal percentage, points, steals and 3-pointers made.

While remaining one of the league's premier perimeter defenders, Sefolosha has gradually transformed himself into a shooting guard who can actually shoot. He has become an effective spot-up 3-point shooter (.419), particularly from the corners (.463).

Where does Sefolosha hope to improve before next season?

“Different things,” Sefolosha said. “I want to keep working on my shooting and I definitely want to work on my ball handling and different things where I see I can maybe have an impact on the game for the Thunder.”

Sefolosha began his career as a teenage point guard for the Swiss national team. Does he want to return to his ball-handling days as a 17-year-old?

“Maybe not that far,” Sefolosha said with a chuckle. “I just think I understand my role with this team. I embrace it and try to play to the best of my abilities. I feel at the same time that I can do more, so that is what I want to explore as long as coach (Scott Brooks) gives me a chance and my teammates trust me. I'll just try to do more for the team.”


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