A day after Thabo Sefolosha came to D.C. to meet with the Wizards the castoff from the Oklahoma City Thunder has a deal -- with the Atlanta Hawks.
Sefolosha, who has spent his last six seasons that included an NBA Finals appearance as the starting shooting guard with the Thunder, met with Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer in Washington and signed Thursday.
“I feel great about it, and I’m happy with the contract.” Sefolosha told Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. “So I definitely got a big smile on my face right now.”
Sefolosha, a 6-7 shooting guard who is more noted for his defense, signed a three-year deal for $12 million. That was far above what the Wizards were offering him coming off a season in which he lost his starting job in playoffs. He averaged just 16 minutes per game and was benched for Games 6 and 7 of the Thunder's opening-round series with the Memphis Grizzlies and again the conference finals vs. the San Antonio Spurs.
So what does this mean for the Wizards? It's doubtful it impacts them much. They were quick to acknowledge the presence of Sefolosha on Wednesday -- almost too eager -- which suggested this was their way of telling Trevor Ariza that they were considering other options. Less expensive options.
They're still trying to lure Ariza to re-sign, while expressing lukewarm interest in Sefolosha which didn't make much sense. The Wizards intend to re-sign free agent Garrett Temple who is a similar player and played at the veteran minimum which was $884,000 last season. Sefolosha earned $3.9 million last season and averages 5.8 points per game for his nine-year career.
When Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James declare their intentions on whether they're staying or going, the market is on hold for most teams. And that also applies to the Wizards regarding Ariza.