JULY 15TH: The Thunder have officially signed Telfair, the team announced in a press release.
“His competitiveness and work ethic have complimented his on-court leadership skills throughout his career, and we are excited to be able to integrate these qualities into our team,” GM Sam Presti said as part of the team’s statement.
JULY 3RD: The Thunder and Sebastian Telfair have reached agreement on a one-year, minimum salary deal, reports Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. The nine-year NBA veteran is returning to the league after spending last season playing in China.
The Grizzlies, Nets and Spurs had also expressed interest in the ASM Sports client. Memphis in particular seemed keen on the 29-year-old, as coach Dave Joerger acknowledged a few weeks ago that the team was eyeing Telfair.
The former 13th overall pick last played in the NBA for the Raptors in 2012/13, averaging 4.3 points and 3.0 assists in just 14.2 minutes per game across 13 appearances after coming via midseason trade with the Suns. He’s never averaged double figures in points and has only topped five assists per game in one NBA season, but while he hasn’t exactly lived up to the pedigree of a lottery pick, he’s proven a capable backup. That’s apparently the role for which the Thunder envision him, with Reggie Jackson having asked to start, as Haynes notes, and Derek Fisher off to coach the Knicks.
The contract won’t put much of a dent in the Thunder’s flexibility beneath the projected $77MM tax line, and that’s especially true since it’s a one-year arrangement. It’ll only cost roughly $915K to OKC even though he’ll make nearly $1.317MM. The league pays the difference, as I explained earlier.