Thabo Sefolosha is reportedly drawing interest from the Sacramento Kings to sure up their perimeter defense. Would Atlanta be willing to part ways with him?
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Sacramento Kings have a very strong interest in acquiring wing Thabo Sefolosha from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade deadline deal.
Sefolosha would bring instant credibility defensively to the lackluster defense of the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento may have its issues with continuity as an organization, but the Kings do have several interesting pieces that general manager and Kings legend Vlade Divac could presumably build a winner around.
Now that the Kings seem like they are going to keep head coach George Karl for the rest of the season despite differences between Divac and Karl, one way that the Kings could drastically improve their team is to bring in a player with great defensive acumen like Thabo Sefolosha of the Atlanta Hawks.
Sefolosha is instant defensive tenacity coming off the Atlanta bench. He is second on the team in defensive rating behind All-Star starting power forward Paul Millsap. Thabo Sefolosha essentially plays wing defense like a ballhawking defensive back in the NFL, routinely making plays on the ball trying to intercept passes or challenge a taller offensive player on the glass. Sefolosha could even start at the two or three for the Kings like he did in Oklahoma City before joining Atlanta in 2014-15.
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The trade rumors mills surrounding the Atlanta Hawks and its players continues to expand by the hour. Sefolosha makes it now five players on the current roster (Sefolosha, Millsap, shooting guard Kyle Korver, point guard Jeff Teague, and center Al Horford) that have had their names come up in potential trade discussions.
Should the Atlanta Hawks consider trading Thabo Sefolosha, their top five defense in the league would certainly take a giant leap backwards. Who else besides Kent Bazemore is going to provide the club with great perimeter defense? The team still hasn’t found a suitable replacement since DeMarre Carroll left town. Bazemore has taken Carroll’s spot, but who has taken Bazemore’s high energy role off the Atlanta bench?
While trading Thabo Sefolosha would hurt the Atlanta Hawks defensively instantly, he could stand as a the trade piece that the Hawks could sell the highest on in terms of perceived value. The Kings are desperate for wing defensive and have shown over the last decade or so that Sacramento will probably give up more than most for a player they like.
This could mean that the Atlanta Hawks could get one, maybe two very intriguing assets should they trade Thabo Sefolosha to the Sacramento Kings. Would it be too much to ask for a Rudy Gay or a Willie Cauley-Stein in that deal? It wouldn’t seem like a man-for-man trade, but Atlanta could pick the pocket of the Kings like many other teams have done so before.
If the Atlanta Hawks organization is wanting an offer they can’t refuse in a trade for any of their players on the 2015-16 roster, then perhaps it could happen if they are willing to strike up a deal with the Sacramento Kings. It is entirely up in the air what head coach Mike Budenholzer and general manager Wes Wilcox have in mind for this team’s makeup in the next day or so.