Jazz Sign Thabo Sefolosha
Former All-NBA Defensive Team performer becomes 8th international Jazz player
The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Thabo Sefolosha (pronounced TAH-bow sef-a-LOW-sha) to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.
Known as one of the league's best perimeter defenders, Sefolosha (6-7, 220, Switzerland) appeared in 62 games (42 starts) for the Atlanta Hawks this past season, averaging 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and a team and career-best 1.5 steals in 25.7 minutes of action. The guard/forward finished the season ranked 16th in the NBA in steals per game and fifth in steal-to-turnover ratio (1.66), rating fourth among wings in defensive box plus-minus (+3.1) and seventh in defensive real plus-minus (2.27).
Originally selected in the first round (13th overall selection) of the 2006 NBA Draft by Philadelphia, the 33-year-old has appeared in 740 career games (467 starts) over 11 seasons in the league with Chicago, Oklahoma City and Atlanta. He owns career averages of 5.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 23.3 minutes and was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team in 2009-10.
Sefolosha’s teams have made the playoffs in nine of his 11 seasons(including each of his last eight), and he has seen action in 92 career postseason games (69 starts), averaging 4.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.2 minutes. Most recently, his Hawks advanced to the playoffs during all three of his seasons including finishing 2014-15 with the best record in the Eastern Conference before advancing to the Conference Finals. He also helped the Thunder reach the postseason in each of the five seasons prior to that, including three trips to the Western Conference Finals and one NBA Finals appearance in 2012.
In addition to the NBA, Sefolosha has played professionally with Fenerbache Ulker in Turkey (2011-12), in Italy with Angelico Biella (2005-06), Chalon-Sur-Saone in France (2002-05) after beginning his career with Tege Riviera Basket in Switzerland at the age of 17.
Fluent in French, Italian and English, Sefolosha is a native of Vevey, Switzerland (the first Swiss-born NBA player), and joins what was already the most international team in the NBA in 2016-17. The eight players on the current Jazz roster born outside the United States now hail from Australia (two), France, Brazil, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Ukraine.
Sefolosha’s first name is inspired by a South African dialect, meaning “the one who brings joy.”
He will wear jersey No. 22 for the Jazz.