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Report: Thabo Sefolosha won’t play for Rockets in NBA resumption

Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 31 : Thabo Sefolosha #18 of the Houston Rockets looks on before the game against the Dallas Mavericks on January 31, 2020 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

These have been heavy times for Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha, who was a victim of police brutality in 2015. Though he expressed excitement about the opportunity to play in the NBA’s resumption at Disney World, Sefolosha also expressed reservations about distracting from current movement for racial justice and spending so much time away from his family.

It’s a lot to evaluate.

Weighing it all, Sefolosha has decided to sit out the rest of the season.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Assuming he doesn’t qualify for an exemption or face discipline for deciding past the original deadline (which was seemingly soft), Sefolosha will lose $224,978 in base salary plus $28,122 for each playoff game Houston plays (up to $393,712 in total lost base salary).*

*With league-wide revenue way down, no players will receive their full base salary.

The Rockets probably would’ve relied on Robert Covington and P.J. Tucker as much at possible at forward, anyway. Sefolosha probably wouldn’t have cracked Houston’s playoff rotation, but he could have played effective defense while spacing the floor in spurts. Now, the Rockets will turn to Jeff Green, DeMarre Carroll and Danuel House to handle forward minutes behind Covington and Tucker.

Houston previously waived Isaiah Hartenstein to sign David Nwaba. If they knew Sefolosha’s decision sooner, the Rockets could have kept Hartenstein. But Houston can also sign a replacement for Sefolosha, so maybe Hartenstein would’ve been dropped regardless.

The 36-year-old Sefolosha will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. If he wants to continue playing, he can still help in a limited role and should draw minimum-salary offers.