Thabo Sefolosha

Jazz Notes: Sefolosha, Exum, Gobert, Stone

As expected, Thabo Sefolosha has elected to undergo right knee surgery and the procedure is happening today, the Jazz confirmed in a press release this week. A weekend report indicated that Sefolosha would be sidelined for the remainder of the 2017/18 season after going under the knife. While the club’s announcement didn’t explicitly confirm that the injury is season-ending, that remains the expectation.

According to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link), Sefolosha’s diagnosis prompted the Jazz to apply for a disabled player exception in advance of Monday’s deadline. If it’s granted, the club would receive a salary cap exception worth $2.625MM – half of Sefolosha’s salary – that could be used to sign or trade for a player for the rest of the season. Our glossary entry on the disabled player exception goes into more detail on exactly how DPEs work.

Here’s more from out of Utah:

  • Jazz point guard Dante Exum, who has missed the entire 2017/18 season so far due to a shoulder injury, has been cleared for non-contact basketball activities, tweets Jones. Although Exum is making progress toward a potential second-half return, it’s unclear whether the former fifth overall pick will be able to carve out a role in the rotation with Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell handling most of the point guard minutes for Utah.
  • There will certainly be room in the Jazz’s lineup for another player on the mend — Rudy Gobert returned to participate in the non-contact portion of Utah’s practices this weekend, per Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News. The standout center may be back on the court for the club within the next week or so.
  • Utah’s G League affiliate acquired former Clippers center Diamond Stone in a trade this week. Jody Genessy of The Deseret News has the details on the move by the Salt Lake City Stars, which saw the team add the 40th overall pick from the 2016 draft.

Thabo Sefolosha To Miss The Rest Of The Season

Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha will have surgery on an MCL injury in his right knee that will sideline him for the rest of the season, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

Preliminary estimates give Sefolosha a recovery time of at least six months, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link), which means he should be ready for training camp next season. A final decision on surgery won’t be made until later this week, adds David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link).

Sefolosha, who suffered the injury in Friday’s game, has been an important rotation player for Utah, averaging 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 38 games. He will have a non-guaranteed $5.25MM salary for next season under the two-year contract he signed with the Jazz last summer.

Northwest Notes: McCollum, Wolves, Sefolosha

In a conversation with TNT’s David Aldridge at, Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum discussed his club’s performance so far, his shoe deal with Li Ning, Jusuf Nurkic‘s impact on the Blazers, and several other topics. Among those topics? Portland’s relatively quiet offseason. While McCollum has confidence in the Blazers’ core group, he acknowledged to Aldridge that he did make an effort to recruit Carmelo Anthony when the All-Star forward was on the trade block.

“I mean, I figured why not? Why not recruit someone you think can help your team?” McCollum said. “I just told him the truth. … I told him one time how he could help [the Trail Blazers], and that was basically the end of it. I felt like when someone’s a free agent and you know them and you’re around them, you need to share how you think they can help you and how you think you can help them. They have the right to make their own decision, and I think he’s happy where he’s at, and I wish him the best except when they play us.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • After making a series of veteran additions in the offseason, the Timberwolves entered the 2017/18 campaign with the ninth-oldest roster in the NBA. So far, in the view of Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune, that veteran leadership has paid major dividends in Minnesota. Souhan refers to the roster as not only the best in franchise history, but “the most mature.”
  • Speaking of veteran leadership, the Jazz feel like they’re benefiting from the presence of free agent signee Thabo Sefolosha, with coaches and teammates alike referring to the swingman has a strong leader. “Leadership is something that can’t be forced,” head coach Quin Snyder said, per Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News. “I think people have to want to follow you. You have to be able to lead them a direction that’s productive and [Sefolosha’s] experience and intelligence allow him to.”
  • After playing just 165 total minutes in his rookie season, Malik Beasley has been a more regular part of the Nuggets‘ rotation early this season. As Gina Mizell of The Denver Post details, Nuggets head coach Michael Malone likes the confidence and aggressiveness he’s seeing from 2016’s 19th overall pick.

Jazz Sign Thabo Sefolosha To Two-Year Deal

JULY 18: The Jazz have officially signed Sefolosha, the team announced today in a press release. Based on Utah’s other roster moves, it appears the team completed the deal using cap room.Thabo Sefolosha vertical

JULY 12: The Jazz have reached an agreement with free agent wing Thabo Sefolosha, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports that Sefolosha will sign a two-year, $10.5MM contract with Utah.

Sefolosha, 33, has played for the Bulls, Thunder, and Hawks over the course of his 11-year NBA career. In 2016/17, he appeared in 62 games (42 starts) for Atlanta, averaging 7.2 PPG and 4.4 RPG to go along with a .441/.342/.733 shooting line and solid perimeter defense.

In Utah, Sefolosha will help to fill the gap left on the wing when Gordon Hayward departed for Boston. While he won’t come close to matching Hayward’s scoring, the former lottery pick should help stabilize the defense while players like Rodney Hood, Joe Johnson, and perhaps Alec Burks and Donovan Mitchell take on more of the scoring load.

We’ll have to wait to see how Utah handles its cap situation this year to know how the team is signing Sefolosha. The team’s new deal with Joe Ingles isn’t yet official, and it remains to be seen whether Boris Diaw‘s $7.5MM salary will be kept on the books. Depending on how the Jazz manage their cap, Sefolosha could either be signed using cap room or by using a portion of the club’s mid-level exception.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jazz Target Free Agents, Hope To Trade Boris Diaw

After signing Thabo Sefolosha earlier today, the Jazz are looking at more moves to beef up their front line, according to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Utah would like to add another forward and a center to back up Rudy Gobert, Jones relays. The Jazz are trying to trade veteran big man Boris Diaw, whose $7.5MM salary for the upcoming season doesn’t become fully guaranteed until Saturday. If they can’t find a trade partner, they are expected to waive Diaw before the end of the week.

Jones mentions three free agents that Utah is targeting: small forward Dante Cunningham, who spent last season with the Pelicans, power forward Ersan Ilyasova, who was traded from the Sixers to the Hawks at the February deadline, and center Willie Reed, who is coming off a breakthrough season as a backup with the Heat.

Jazz management is especially fond of Cunningham and Reed because they bring toughness and atleticism on defense. Cunningham is also coming off a career-best year from 3-point range, connecting on 39% from long distance.

Sefolosha, who also has a strong reputation as a defender, chose the Jazz because they utilize an international style of offense similar to what he experienced in Atlanta, Jones writes. He started 42 games for Atlanta last season, but Utah may view him as a backup to Joe Ingles.

The Jazz have two options for signing Sefolosha, who will receive $10.5MM over two years, according to a post from Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. They could remain over the cap and use part of their mid-level exception, which would allow them to keep a $3.3MM bi-annual exception and $3.2MM of the MLE. The other option is to waive Diaw and sign Sefolosha with cap room, leaving them with $6MM to spend, along with a $4.3MM room MLE.

Cavaliers Notes: Crawford, Osman, Lue, Green

The Cavaliers weren’t able to get into a bidding war for Jamal Crawford because they need to keep enough money to sign Cedi Osman, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland is well over the cap for the upcoming season and wasn’t willing to give Crawford its entire $5.192MM taxpayer mid-level exception. The Cavs will need at least $816K to sign Osman, who has a $1MM buyout with his Turkish team. Crawford will reportedly sign a two-year, $8.9MM deal with the Timberwolves once he clears waivers. Vardon wrote on Friday that the Cavaliers were the favorites to land Crawford, but the Osman negotiations apparently changed that situation.

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • Coach Tyronn Lue stayed out of negotiations involving former GM David Griffin and front office recruit Chauncey Billups, Vardon writes in a separate piece. “You know how it affects me, he gave me my job,” was Lue’s only response to a question about Griffin at Friday’s summer league game. It was Griffin’s decision to fire David Blatt and replace him with Lue midway through the 2015/16 championship season. A few months after that title, Griffin rewarded Lue with a five-year, $35MM contract. Griffin could have been replaced by Billups, a close friend of Lue, but he turned down a below-market offer reported at $2MM per year. “Any time you get the chance to advance, be the president and GM, it’s always something great,” Lue said. “I know it’s something he always wanted to do. But I just kind of stayed out of the situation because I was so close to Griff, so close to Chauncey, so I didn’t want anything to do with it.”
  • The Cavs don’t seem worried about Jeff Green‘s drop in production last season, writes Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. They signed the 10-year veteran to a one-year, $2.3MM contract on Friday, with ESPN reporting that LeBron James had “active conversations” with Green before the deal was reached. Green has been with four teams in the past three seasons, and averaged just 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds with the Magic last year, the lowest figures of his career in both categories.
  • Cleveland is limited is what it can offer, but Chris Fedor of put together a list of seven free agents who might be willing to take a little less to join a team that has been to three straight finals. He names Thabo Sefolosha, Tony Allen, Gerald Henderson, Luc Mbah a Moute, C.J. Miles, Rodney Stuckey and Dewayne Dedmon.

Hawks Rumors: Millsap, Wilcox, Front Office

It was a “poorly-kept secret” in NBA circles that Wes Wilcox and Mike Budenholzer haven’t seen eye-to-eye on the Hawks’ direction in recent years, according to TNT’s David Aldridge. In his latest Morning Tip column on, Aldridge takes a deep dive on the Hawks and the “philosophical” differences between Wilcox and Budenholzer, citing one source who referred to the front office situation as “a Game of Thrones kind of thing.”

According to Aldridge’s sources, Wilcox was in favor of trading Paul Millsap earlier this year and going all-in on an Atlanta rebuild, but Budenholzer – who retained final say on the team’s personnel moves at the time – nixed that idea.

[RELATED: David Griffin, Joe Dumars, Troy Weaver on Hawks’ radar?]

Although Hawks owner Tony Ressler – in a conversation with Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – dismissed the notion that Budenholzer and Wilcox couldn’t work together, both men were re-assigned last week to roles that reduce their influence within the basketball operations department. Budenholzer is no longer the president of basketball ops, while Wilcox is no longer the Hawks’ GM.

Here’s more out of Atlanta:

  • No matter who the Hawks hire as their next GM, Millsap is expected to negotiate directly with Ressler this offseason, per Aldridge. And Atlanta will do everything it can to re-sign the All-Star big man. “There’s no disagreement on whether we’re going to try and keep him, and whether he’s great for the Atlanta Hawks,” Ressler said of Millsap.
  • While Millsap has publicly expressed a desire to remain with the Hawks, there are “rumblings about what he really thought about this season,” according to Aldridge, who writes that “there was unhappiness among some with a lack of accountability for other players who consistently made mistakes on the floor.”
  • Said one Hawks source to Aldridge: “We had guys out there doing (stuff) they had no business doing.”
  • Some members of the Hawks were also confused about why Thabo Sefolosha fell out of the club’s rotation in the playoffs, says Aldridge.
  • Ressler is serious about continuing to listen to Wes Wilcox‘s input as the former GM moves to a new advisory role, per Aldridge. The Hawks owner will also listen to input from execs like assistant GM Jeff Peterson and director of player personnel John Treloar, who were hired by Wilcox.
  • Wilcox is negotiating a new contract with the Hawks as he transitions to his new role, according to Aldridge, who notes that the deal will have offset protection for the franchise in case Wilcox finds a job with another team.
  • With free agency looming, Millsap still feels like he can improve as a player, as KL Chouinard of details.

Southeast Notes: Sefolosha, Reed, Porter, Georges-Hunt

Thabo Sefolosha settled his civil lawsuit with five members of the New York City Police Department, Thabo and his attorney announced Wednesday. Sefolosha’s attorney – Alex Spiro – told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is “glad this matter is resolved.”

While financial terms of the settlement were said to be confidential, James C. McKinley Jr. of the New York Times reported a $4MM settlement from New York City, resulting from false arrest and using excessive force. Sefolosha released a statement through the Hawksofficial website, announcing his intent to make a donation to a nonprofit organization.

“While I alone can’t bring the type of change needed to eliminate these issues, I want to help make a difference,” Sefolosha stated. “A substantial portion of my settlement will be donated to Gideon’s Promise, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps support and train public defenders across the country…It is an extremely gratifying feeling to know that justice has been served and that now, finally, I can truly put this behind me.”

More from around the Southeast…

  • Willie Reed won’t comment on his impending opt out clause decision this offseason, claiming he’ll make that decision once the season’s over. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Reed’s excellent play may have placed him out of the Heat‘s price range. While Reed could stay in Miami for $1.5MM in 2017/18, he may command twice that amount on the open market, or more. “I think I’ve proved that I belong, that I can be a factor in this league for time to come. All I wanted to do was play in the NBA since I was a kid. I want to continuously show everyone I belong and I can be a factor in this league,” Reed said.
  • Otto Porter‘s “unassuming” game has lifted the Wizards to postseason contention, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports writes. Porter, who ranks 19th in the NBA in Win Shares, will be “coveted” as a restricted free agent this summer. Still just 23 years old, Porter may command a max contract- projected to be worth more than $146MM over five seasons.
  • Marcus Georges-Hunt has settled in with the Magic in his first NBA season, rewarding Frank Vogel for giving him a late-season look. An undrafted rookie, Georges-Hunt earned his NBA promotion by averaging 15.8 points over 45 games with the Maine Red Claws. “Marcus is a big-time scorer,” Vogel told Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders. “[He] really has the ability to score, especially in a game like this where you have so many exceptional drivers and the ability to move his feet and have some toughness to him and contain the basketball. That is a skillset our team has lacked this year.”

Paul Millsap To Miss Three Games With Left Knee Synovitis

Paul Millsap has been sidelined since March 16, and the four-time All-Star has now been ruled out of the Hawks‘ next three games. According to a team press release, Millsap has been diagnosed with left knee synovitis and underwent a non-surgical procedure at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Millsap, whose status will be “updated as appropriate,” would next be eligible to play on April 2 against the Nets.

Millsap’s injury comes at a time when the Hawks could use him the most, having dropped seven straight in midst of a playoff run. In addition to Millsap, the Hawks are missing Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha due to injury. While Bazemore’s return to action is “trending in the right direction,” point guard Dennis Schroder implored his teammates not to wait around for injured players to return.

“I’m saying now we have to change something,” Schroder said in an Associated Press report. “We can’t wait until they come back. Maybe it’s too late then. The NBA isn’t easy. You’ve got to win games to make it in the playoffs.”

Prior to the injury, Millsap had averaged 19.6 points with seven rebounds over his last eight games.

Hawks Actively Looking To Add To Roster

At the time that the Hawks sent Kyle Korver to the Cavaliers last month, it looked like a fire sale may be imminent in Atlanta. However, the team pulled Paul Millsap off the market shortly thereafter and has solidified its hold on a top-five spot in the Eastern Conference. Now, with the trade deadline approaching, the Hawks are actively looking to add to their roster, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Although Vivlamore doesn’t specify any particular players the Hawks are targeting, he notes that the team has several assets that could be used in a trade in the next seven days. The Hawks have had discussions with teams about Thabo Sefolosha and Tim Hardaway Jr., per Vivlamore, and those are just two of the many Atlanta players headed for free agency this summer. Tiago Splitter, Kris Humphries, Mike Muscala, and Mike Scott are on expiring deals too — so is Millsap, though the Hawks have said he’s not going anywhere.

In addition to those veteran players that could be included in deals, the Hawks will have a spot opening on their roster on Friday if they don’t re-sign Lamar Patterson, whose 10-day contract is set to expire. The team also has a collection of extra draft picks, including future first-rounders from the Timberwolves and Cavaliers.

Millsap and Dwight Howard have given Atlanta some solid production in the frontcourt this season, and Dennis Schroder has been effective at the point, but the team’s roster lacks additional impact players. A third big man, a backcourt scorer, or another wing are all options for the Hawks if they do make a move.

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