With Derek Fisher opting for retirement and heading to the Big Apple to coach the New York Knicks, the Oklahoma City Thunder were in need of another backup point guard. By signing Sebastian Telfair, the Thunder may have found the perfect guy for head coach Scott Brooks to inexplicably leave on the floor late in the fourth quarter of close games to replace Fisher.
In all seriousness though, Telfair isn’t the worst the Thunder could have done in adding to their backcourt depth following Fisher’s departure. Bassy is coming off a season in which he averaged 26.1 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game in China with club team Tiajin Ronggang.
Before that, Telfair’s last NBA stint was during the 2012-13 season, during which he averaged 6.0 points and 2.5 assists per game for the Phoenix Suns and 4.3 points and 3.0 assists per game with the Toronto Raptors. In nine seasons, Telfair has played for the Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors.
Terms of Telfair’s deal with the Thunder were not disclosed.
Unfortunately for Oklahoma City, Telfair won’t quite replace the three-point shooting Fisher provided off the bench since he’s a career 32 percent shooter from long range. However, Telfair is a decent ball handler and though he’s never lived up to the hype as one of the nation’s most highly touted players coming out of high school, he’s proven himself to be a capable backup NBA point guard. If he can ride the momentum of confidence that came from dominating lesser competition in China, this isn’t a bad pickup for OKC.
Well, as long as Brooks doesn’t try to play him in crunch-time lineups, that is.