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

Whenever Thunder general manager Sam Presti executes a rookie contract extension, usually there's quite a commotion. Not so with shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha.

There was nary a peep on Oct. 28, 2009, when Sefolosha agreed to a four-year extension with OKC worth $13.8 million, plus incentives.

Presti had acquired Sefolosha from the Chicago Bulls at the trade deadline eight months earlier in exchange for a first-round draft pick. Sefolosha quickly had become a highly respected perimeter defender with the Bulls as the No. 13 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.

This essentially meant Presti swapped a proven lottery pick for the No. 26 overall pick in the 2009 draft.

Since the uncelebrated signing of Sefolosha, every rookie contract extension involving the Thunder has made a ruckus.

*All-Star forward Kevin Durant agreed to a 30-percent maximum, five-year extension at the earliest possible moment on July 8, 2008, which he announced via Twitter. That such a significant occasion was so modestly revealed brought aftershocks that rumbled throughout the league.

*On Jan. 19, 2012, All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook agreed to a 25-percent maximum, five-year extension, even though he would have qualified for the 30-percent maximum as a two-time All-NBA pick at the time. Westbrook and Durant being under contract together through at least the 2015-16 season quickly had opposing teams groaning.

*On Aug, 18, 2012, Defensive Player of the Year runner-up Serge Ibaka agreed to a four-year extension worth $49 million, plus incentives. Starting next season, Ibaka's salary will be at a flat rate of $12.25 million per year and will not escalate, putting less stress on future OKC payrolls.

*Last summer, reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden refused the Thunder's four-year extension offer reportedly worth $53 million. As a result, Presti traded Harden to Houston on Oct. 27 in a move that remains a topic of debate.



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