NBA News: Houston Rockets Sign Free Agent Thabo Sefolosha

Thabo Sefolosha on the basketball court.
Gene Sweeney Jr. / Getty Images

The departure of Kevin Durant from the Golden State Warriors created a frenzy among all NBA teams. Many general managers have been swinging for the fences in hopes of capturing a championship this season, as the new-look league appears to be wide-open. In particular, the Houston Rockets believe that they are inching closer to their ultimate goal thanks to their acquisition of Russell Westbrook.

Now that preparations are well underway for the 2019-20 NBA season, teams continue to scout the open market to fill the remaining roster spots. As per ESPN, the Rockets have signed Thabo Sefolosha to a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. He was one of the most notable free agents available and had generated interest among many teams.

Last season, Sefolosha appeared in 50 games for the Utah Jazz, averaging 12.2 minutes, 3.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.9 steals per game. The numbers may be far from flashy, but they don’t tell the entire story about the valuable 35-year-old. Shooting is arguably the most important skill set in today’s league, and Sefolosha remains a threat from behind the arc. During his latest stint with the Jazz, he shot 43.6 percent on 1.6 attempts from the three-point field.

Sefolosha, who was named to the 2010 NBA All-Defensive Second Team, is also well known for his tenacious efforts on the defensive end, which had been among the Rockets’ weaknesses in recent times. The team was only one game shy from reaching the NBA Finals in 2018 and fell short again to the Warriors in the second-round of the following postseason.

Thabo Sefolosha during an NBA game
  Gene Sweeney Jr. / Getty Images

With pressure mounting on the squad, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had to go all in with a big move. The introduction of Westbrook may finally push the Rockets over the hump. As the 2016-17 NBA Most Valuable Player, Westbrook certainly has what it takes to propel the team to such heights. But the newly assembled Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers also pose a great threat to their title aspirations.

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The Rockets are set to contend in the Western Conference despite the high level of competition. Sefolosha’s arrival to the team unites him with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates in James Harden and Westbrook. The trio had reached the NBA Finals in 2012, although they couldn’t overcome the Miami Heat’s Big Three.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Harden hopes to win multiple championships to become an all-time great. It’s now on the Rockets to surround their stars with quality role players, and the signing of Sefolosha is a step in the right direction.