Houston Rockets: The key asset Thabo Sefolosha will bring to the team

Houston Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Houston Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets have decided to sign veteran forward Thabo Sefolosha to their roster for the 2019-20 season. What does he bring to the table? Look.

Houston Rockets fans — we’ve got a little over a month to go before it’s time for the NBA season to commence.  I’m truly excited about the acquisition of Russell Westbrook and how different the feel of the backcourt will be along with James Harden.

The chemistry between the two may not be as difficult as we think and it’s quite possible this duo will make beautiful music together eventually.  I’d expect there to be some kinks to work out but I think the ultimate goal of Russ helping this team win games will be something that we’ll all see.

I don’t expect much of a drop-off — if any at all — from this trade and they should be able to still hit the same mark of 53 wins from last season, if not greater than that.

The defensive prowess of the team remains in question after the Houston Rockets let go of long-time Mike D’Antoni confidant Jeff Bzdelik but the franchise did hire veteran assistant Elston Turner, who has a defensive mindset as MDA’s top assistant.

This will be his second stint with the Houston Rockets as he was on Rick Adelman‘s staff from 2007-11 and he coached some damn good defensive-minded teams even back then.  Can the 60-year-old emanate the same amount of magic as he did back then?  Absolutely and we’re about to see it exude from our beloved players this season.

But on the roster-filling front, the Houston Rockets had their minicamp in Las Vegas this week and this included the invite of several veteran players that included Luc Mbah a Moute, Terrence Jones, Nick Young, Corey Brewer, Raymond Felton and Thabo Sefolosha.

The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reported earlier this week that Mbah a Moute decided to change plans and back out of the invite so the competition for one of the final roster spots was on the rest of the guys.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Houston Rockets have selected Sefolosha among the guys that competed in the workout this week.  He has agreed to a one-year, minimum-salary deal worth approximately $2.6 million.

This is an excellent pick up of the 13-season veteran.  He’s still got plenty left in the tank and certainly has what it takes to still help this team be successful.

The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen reported D’Antoni wanted to draft him back in 2006 when he was the head coach of the Phoenix Suns but his draft stock rose up to the 13th pick, to which was out of reach for him at the time.

The union that MDA so coveted is finally going to happen some 13 years later.  This notion alone makes him a terrific fit for this team and Feigen also noted that Clint Capela was inspired by his high-level of play as they both share Swiss heritage.  This hopefully will help elevate Capela’s deftness out on the court as I’m sure they’ll be swapping tips as teammates.

What is still his biggest asset that he brings to the table in the latter years of his career?

His defense.  Sefolosha can still lock down defenders as his defensive rating was a 102 in

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2018-19.  He hasn’t seen much a downturn because his rating was as great as a 100 just five seasons ago.

He’s still got it, he’s quick enough and I think he’ll be fine in the Houston Rockets‘ system of frequent switching to attempt to throw off each opponent that they face.

Not to mention that Sefolosha can still be a prolific three-point shooter even at high volume so I’ll be looking forward to seeing the offensive sets that he could be included in when he’s out on the court.  He can score and rebound at will so with all of this being a comprehensive package, there’s no reason why he can’t thrive with this team.  He also has the ability to spot-start as needed if a situation warrants it throughout the course of 2019-20.

Next. Rockets: Honest dish on the Westbrook-Harden mesh. dark

This was a great move and I’m excited to see what he can do with the minutes that he’ll be given this season!  Let’s go!

Sefolosha, 35, averaged 3.8 points, 2.5 rebounds with a shooting line of .477/.436/.636 through 50 games — two starts — in 2018-19.  He also averaged 12.2 minutes per game.