Although it wasn't a blockbuster deal, the move that the Oklahoma City Thunder made to acquire Thabo Sefolosha was a good one, and I thought it was prime time to take a closer look, and really see what we're getting for our first round pick, in Thabo Sefolosha. Thabo made his Thunder debut on Saturday, and one thing is clear, he will help this team bring up their defensive intensity level. I'm not sure if Brooks talked to him before but one thing was clear, Thabo was there to play aggresive defense, and it showed in his 5 fouls (in 18 minutes played) which averaged out to about 1 foul every 3.6 minutes on the court. Thats getting after it, in my opinion.
Thabo is in the 3rd year of his NBA career, playing all three seasons, until now, with the Chicago Bulls. Thabo started in 40 games during that time (14 this season), and made a total of 140 appearances in his first two seasons, and 43 so far this year (183 total). He's a defensive minded guy who averages nearly 1 steal per game, and is said to be able to guard 4 of the 5 floor positions, something that the Thunder will find invaluable as they can throw him on the floor to provide solid defense against nearly every matchup they want to put him in.
He should also be well acquainted with current Thunder player Nick Collison as they both participated in "Basketball Without Borders" in Johannesbourg, along with Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Dikembe Mutumbo, Caron Butler, and Jennifer Azzi. The camp was too give young African talents a chance to play alongside NBA players, and in front of high school and university coaches.
Thabo is also the first Swiss born player to come to the NBA. Originally thought to be an early 2nd round pick, Thabo impressed in workouts leading up the draft, and was drafted at #13 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers who then traded him to the Chicago Bulls.
Sefolosha definitely seems to have the character that the Thunder look for when acquiring players. Hard working, selfless, defensive minded, and a true team player. He seems like the kind of guy that can play a game, finish with five fouls, and not much else as far as the statline goes, and be happy with his perfomance.
Although still early, I think its going to pan out as another good Presti move when we look back on this a little further down the road.