There was a point in time that Sebastian Telfair – cousin of former NBA star point guard Stephon Marbury – graced the cover of the prestigious SLAM magazine with the one and only LeBron James. While that seems like a VERY long time ago now, it was testament to the talent that the high school phenom possessed. Coming out of Lincoln High School – he was very highly rated and was the “next best point guard”.
While Bassy was never able to reach the heights of his cousin or live up to the hype surrounding him, he still carved out a very solid NBA career as a reserve point guard and role player.
Telfair spent last season in China and he put up some very impressive numbers. While the Chinese league is not NBA standard, his performance last season was enough to show the Oklahoma City Thunder that he still had some value – and they swooped in and signed him up to the veteran minimum.
Last season, Derek Fisher played a very valuable role for the young Thunder squad. He was a calming influence on the floor, was able to play key minutes and hit key shots and there is no doubt his experience in the locker room was much appreciated by the team.
It looks as though that role will now be played by Sebastian Telfair.
Bassy lacks the success that Fisher had throughout his playing career. He doesn’t bring any championship rings to the table, but the young Thunder stars are also a year older and more mature and experienced, so that might not matter. The Thunder have been to the NBA Finals, they know what to expect and now they are focused on getting back there. While the Telfair signing isn’t ground breaking, it is an effective and efficient move – something OKC excel at.
With the development of Reggie Jackson and the likelihood that he plays minutes alongside Russell Westbrook as well as backing him up, the Thunder now need a third string reserve who can run an offense, make the right play, move the ball and not be a defensive liability. Oh, and he needs to be cheap. Understanding why the Thunder have signed Sebastian Telfair yet?
This Thunder side doesn’t need more superstars, it doesn’t need more egos – it needs cheap, quality substance and experience – and they have secured that in Telfair.
No doubt the Thunder haven’t finished filling out their off-season wishlist, but the addition of Telfair was a smart, low risk move – which is what we have come to expect from Sam Presti and his team.