The Wizards met on Wednesday with free agent swingman Thabo Sefolosha at Verizon Center, multiple people with knowledge of the situation have confirmed.
Sefolosha, who started the past five seasons in Oklahoma City, was spotted in attendance at a Mystics game, setting off speculation about his reasons for being in town. It was later revealed that the 30-year-old Sefolosha wasn’t hanging around simply as a WNBA fan.
A 6-foot-5 native of Switzerland, Sefolosha has a reputation for being a solid perimeter defender and occasional spot-up shooter. He shot better than 40 percent from three-point range for two seasons with the Thunder, including a career-high 43.7 percent in 2011-12 when the Oklahoma City advanced to the NBA Finals.
In nine seasons with the Chicago Bulls and Thunder, Sefolosha has career averages of 5.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 34.8 percent shooting from long distance. Sefolosha is represented by Guy Zucker, who negotiated Marcin Gortat’s five-year, $60-million contract with the Wizards on the first day of the free agent negotiating period.
After a down season in which he dealt with a strained calf, shot just 41.5 percent and lost his starting job during the Western Conference finals loss to San Antonio, Sefolosha could be a low-cost alternate to Trevor Ariza.
The Wizards have made retaining Ariza a priority, and also want continuity from a team that reached the Eastern Conference semifinals. But they also want to cover themselves in case he decides to leave. They have also reached out to two-time all-star Luol Deng, among others.
Sefolosha earned $3.9 million last season with the Thunder but could also be added to the team to serve as a backup to the injured Martell Webster. The Wizards had intended to use Webster as Bradley Beal’s primary backup at shooting guard but Webster suffered a herniated disk in his back and will be out the first month of the regular season.