Thabo Sefolosha NBA Draft Scouting Report
Apr 12, 2006, 09:28 pm
Sefolosha has good size for an NBA shooting guard at 6-7 (200 centimeters) with a very nice wingspan. Hes a smooth athlete, not incredibly explosive, but clearly possessing necessary NBA physical attributes, similar to Brandon Roy in this area. Hes a fluid player, highly coordinated, fundamentally sound, with nice quickness, a good first step and excellent leaping ability.
Sefolosha is a physical player who likes to mix it up and get dirty, not being soft in the least bit like your stereotypical European draft prospect is perceived to be. At Biella he will often have to switch out and guard big men in the post at times on rotations and will absolutely refuse to let anyone back him down.
Playing in the very strong Italian first division, Sefolosha is always asked to defend the opposing teams best player. He has shown throughout the season that he can face-guard players from positions 1-3 without any problems at all. He is extremely intense on this end of the floor, being very pesky and getting right up in his mans face on the perimeter. On team defense he is just as good, having the athleticism and feel for the game to know how to guard space and get the job done on rotations and pick and rolls. Defensively he is aided greatly by his terrific footwork, but also by his quickness, wingspan and intelligent style of play. Sefolosha is a true stat-stuffer, blocking shots, getting in the passing lanes, and enjoying doing all the little things for his team.
His best attribute surprisingly enough might be his rebounding ability. Sefolosha has phenomenal hands and timing, so his aggressive demeanor, activity level and wingspan help him out greatly in this area. Hes got a great nose for the ball and takes plenty of pride in this area as hes more of a small forward at the European level anyway. Often times hell crash the glass and ignite the fast break on his own.
Offensively, he is mostly a slasher at this point. He is a good ball-handler with either hand with experience as a point guard at the junior levels, with the understanding for breaking defenses down off the dribble that comes along with that. He already brings the ball up the floor for his team at times, and being a pretty mistake free player, does a good job at minimizing turnovers. He has a nice first step and the footwork to create his own shot or for others, being highly creative once he gets in the lane finishing or finding the open man on the drive and dish.
Also related to his experience at the point are his playmaking skills. Sefolosha is a creative passer who is highly unselfish (to a fault at times) with the ball in his hands, looking smooth and effortless moving the ball around the floor.
Sefolosha generally has an outstanding feel for the game. He is very intelligent moving off the ball, extremely poised for a player his age competing at such a high level of competition, and doesnt rush or force anything out on the floor. Hes your consummate role player, not having a problem being just another cog in his teams ball-movement. He is clearly the most talented player on his team, but because of his youth and the fact that the three Americans that start around him are shoot first one-on-one type players, hes only the 4th or 5th option offensively. Hes a willing role player, and is happy to do everything for his team on the court.
In terms of shooting, Sefolosha has European 3-point range, but mostly with his feet set. This year hes started to show more in terms of shooting off the dribble, but hes still not consistent enough in this area. This is the part of the game that has shown the most improvement over the last year or two, going from a player with no range whatsoever to a 43.3% shooter (at the time of this report in mid-April) in the Italian league, albeit on only 2.6 attempts per game.
The first thing most people mention about Sefolosha is the type of person he is off the court. Coming from a unique background of musician/artist parents, he gets nothing but praise from everyone whos been around him for his personality and attitude. His work ethic is excellent, and on the court he has a very calm and poised demeanor despite his energetic style of play. His coach appears to have full confidence in his abilities as a player and lately plays him more than any of his much more expensive and experienced Americans, which is very rare for a player his age at this level. Although he is in his last year of draft eligibility as a 1984 born international player, Sefolosha appears to be far from reaching his full potential as a player as he has been constantly improving for the past few years and even noticeably from week to week this season in the Italian league.