The Jazz have elected to not waive veteran forward Thabo Sefolosha, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune tweets. The club could have cleared Sefolosha’s $5.2MM non-guaranteed salary had they released him prior to July 1, but it will now become guaranteed.
Sefolosha had an up-and-down first season in Utah after signing a two-year deal with the Jazz last summer. The 34-year-old was an effective part of the Jazz rotation in the fist half, averaging 8.2 PPG and 4.2 RPG with a .492/.381/.815 shooting line in 21.2 minutes per contest.
However, an MCL injury in his right knee ended Sefolosha’s season early, limiting him to just 38 games. Additionally, the NBA announced in April that Sefolosha would be suspended five games for violating the league’s anti-drug program. Since he couldn’t serve that ban will while he was injured, the 12-year veteran will miss the first five contests of the 2018/19 season.
Sefolosha was one of three notable Jazz veterans with non-guaranteed salaries for 2018/19. Utah will reportedly have to decide by July 9 whether to retain Jonas Jerebko ($4.2MM) and Ekpe Udoh ($3.36MM). Royce O’Neale and David Stockton also have non-guaranteed minimum salaries for next season.
With Sefolosha officially on the cap for 2018/19, the Jazz now have more than $80MM in guaranteed money on their books. Utah will likely remain an over-the-cap team, with cap holds for Derrick Favors, Dante Exum, and Raul Neto – along with the aforementioned non-guaranteed salaries – pushing them over the $101.87MM threshold.