The 36-year-old defensive specialist, who was born in Switzerland, inked a fully guaranteed one-year, veteran’s minimum contract with Houston at the start of the 2019/20 season, but has seen limited rotation minutes. Sefolosha opting out of the bubble will effectively make him an unrestricted free agent, though his contract won’t expire until the fall.
Across 41 games, Sefolosha – a former teammate of Rockets All-Stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook while all three were on the Thunder – averaged 2.2 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and 0.6 APG during 10.6 MPG the 2019/20 season, his 14th in the league. Though just 6’6″, Sefolosha primarily logged time as a power forward in coach Mike D’Antoni and team GM Daryl Morey‘s ultra-small ball Rockets lineups.
Sefolosha relayed his concerns about joining the bubble for an extended duration of time, away from his family with the coronavirus pandemic still on the rise, on an episode Brodie and the Beard, a podcast from Kelly Iko of The Athletic, per a tweet from Iko. In that conversation, Sefolosha called an isolated bubble tenure a “huge commitment.”
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Iko observes in a separate tweet that the Rockets front office has been prepping contingency plans for Sefolosha potentially avoiding the season restart. A substitute for Sefolosha will now be sought by the Rockets. Sefolosha stands to lose about $230K in salary, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).