Sebastian Telfair was on the cover of some of the biggest sports magazines in the country back in 2004. Telfair had committed to play at Louisville, but the high school point guard chose to enter the 2004 NBA Draft instead. He was selected with the 13th pick of the draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. That’s where the fairy-tale, feel-good story ends for Telfair, though.
Since entering the Association, Telfair has played for eight different NBA teams (stopping with the Minnesota Timberwolves twice), has never averaged more than 10 points per game, has averaged over five assists per game once, and has shot only 39.1 percent from the floor for his career. Now it seems like he’s heading to his ninth franchise for the 2014-15 season.
According to a report from Chris Haynes of Comcast Sports Northwest, the 29-year-old Telfair has reached a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The deal is reportedly only for one year and will only pay the point guard the veteran minimum, but it’s a step up considering that he spent last season playing in China.
Telfair was actually the star for Tianjin Ronggang in China last season, averaging 26.1 points, six assists, two steals and 4.5 rebounds in 36.3 minutes per game and while shooting 40.6 percent from the floor and 36.9 percent from three. In his last NBA season in 2012-13 spent with both the Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors, the point guard played a combined 59 games and put up 5.6 points, 2.6 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game while shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from distance.
In terms of how he’ll fit with the Thunder, Telfair could actually offer them a good bit of assistance. Oklahoma City was handcuffed into trotting out Derek Fisher as their backup to Russell Westbrook last season, which is not the move you want to be making at this point in Fisher’s career. Telfair isn’t a superstar by any stretch, but you have to imagine that he has more to offer than Fisher did.
The Telfair signing may not turn many heads and certainly wouldn’t be as flashy or publicized as if OKC were able to land Pau Gasol, but it’s a low-budget deal that could aid them in their plight to get to the NBA Finals once again. It’ll be great to see Telfair back in the league to try and redeem himself, which he’ll almost definitely have the opportunity to do with the Thunder.