Wednesday, August 31

The next Calvin Booth?

Is Mikki Moore looking to join former teammate Rick Brunson in Seattle?
"Yo, Brunson Burner! I'm coming to join ya!"

Is Mikki Moore looking to join former Clipper teammate Rick Brunson in Seattle?

According to Inside Hoops, "Mikki the Stikki" will "probably" sign with the Supes this week. Billed as the "best player in NBDL history" (heh-heh), Moore could help the fill the Sonics' desperate need for another 7-footer who can't score.

(Thanks to Rich King for the tip!)

UPDATE: It's official - the Sonics have signed Mikki Moore.

Cyberlew or Cyberpoo?

Bizarro Rashard Lewis?

The Seattle Supersonics have released something called the "Sonics Desktop Dish", featuring something that's supposed to look like Rashard Lewis (but looks more like Lil' Penny) who delivers Sonics news to your desktop. Since there is no Sonics news this time of year (why do you think we're posting this "story"?) it's hard to tell if "Cyberlew" actually works, or whether it's just another piece of corporate spyware tracking my trips to gay porn sites.

Get the Sonics Desktop Dish here.

Tuesday, August 30


The real mascot of the Seattle Supersonics, The Wheedle!

Like the Sonics, Supersonicsoul has been doing some off-season remodeling. Not only do we have a brand-spanking new commenting system (see below), we also have a new thingy on the sidebar that shows the latest comments from you fine folks. If you'd like more new "thingies", please let us know, because we here at Supersonicsoul aims to please!

Friday, August 26


I’ve seen a few questions in the comments regarding salary cap issues, specifically if the signings of Wilkins and the Potato have impacted the Sonics’ ability to re-sign Vladimir Radmanovic. Here’s my estimation as to where the Sonics stand today regarding the cap.

Allen, $13.2 million (estimated)
Lewis, $8.5
Fortson, $6.4
Potapenko, $3.0
Wilkins, $2.5
Collison, $1.8
Swift, $1.8
Ridnour, $1.6
Brunson, $1.0
Petro, $.9

These numbers are rounded, of course, but the total comes to $40,870,966. Now, as I understand it, the Sonics have their mid-level exemption (MLE) available, and from what I have gathered the MLE is going to be around $5 million this season. As the MLE can be split up into multiple players, it stands to reason the Sonics will use the MLE on the Potato and the Omen. Two unknown items are: 1) If the Sonics qualify for the $1 million exemption; and 2) If the Sonics have any trade exemptions. Those two items, if unused, would count against the cap.

Regardless, with the cap at about $51 million, the Sonics are safe even if they sign Radman to a $6 or $7 million per year deal. In addition, Radman qualifies for the Bird Exemption, meaning the Sonics would not be punished for re-signing him for an amount that puts them over the cap (they would, however, pay any applicable luxury tax). With Radman on the books at an estimated $7, and another couple of million for filler like Mateen Cleaves, Reggie Evans, or Alex Scales, the Sonics shouldn’t have any trouble meeting the cap restrictions. Heck, they could even sign Typhoid Murray and not have any trouble – not that I’m advocating that scenario by any means. It’s worth noting that the new CBA requires all NBA teams to have at least 13 players under contract, meaning the Sonics would need to add Radman, Cleaves, and one other player in order to comply (one of Johan Petro’s first English words will no doubt be “inactive”). Note also that until Murray and Evans are renounced, re-signed, or leave for greener pastures, their ’04-’05 salaries will count against this year’s cap in a pro-rated fashion (I believe it’s about $2 mil. for the two of them).

If you see any errors in the above, feel free to post them in the comments. We’re all salary neophytes here, and any information we get is good information.

Wednesday, August 24

Omen II

In a move I believe they will learn to regret, the Sonics announced that they have matched the Timberwolves' 5-year, $15 mil. offer sheet to Damien Wilkins. (Thanks to Rich King on the comments page for the tip). With that bit of news, I'd have to imagine the Sonics are going to renounce the rights to either Flip Murray, Reggie Evans, or both sometime soon.


As the Sonics approach the final pieces in putting together A DEFENDING NORTHWEST DIVISION CHAMPION ROSTER (Whoot! Not in Our House!), here’s some interesting info culled from the fantastic site.

The three pieces yet to be finalized for the Sonics are the Omen, Radman, and Flip. 82games has recently put together a “Player Pairs” piece, showing how different players produce when paired with a specific teammate. Of note:

1. Radman makes everyone better, with the exceptions of – wait for it – Flip and the Omen.
2. Murray and Wilkins may need to change their nicknames to “Typhoid” Murray and “The Oh, No” Wilkins. Murray and Wilkins negatively affected almost every player on the roster. As one example, if you looked at Ray Allen’s stats from last year, you’d see that he played above average with every player but two: Wilkins and Murray. Or, if you looked at Antonio Daniels’ stats from last year, you’d see that he played above average with every player but two: Wilkins and Murray. Or, if you looked at Luke Ridnour’s stats ... okay, I think you get the point I’m trying to make here.
3. Rashard Lewis and the Potato really play well together. Of all of Lewis’ pairs, Vitaly is clearly the best.
4. Radman hits the boards quite well when paired with Nick Collison. His normally pedestrian rebounding figures jump to more than 7 per 40 minutes when he’s with NC.
5. Vitaly Potapenko helps the Sonics’ offense in a myriad ways. Almost every Sonic posted phenomenal offensive stats when the Potato was peelin’. Just as one example, Sugar Ray averaged 30 pts/40 min. (!) when Vitaly was alongside.

What can we conclude from all of this?

1. The Sonics would be wise to let Flip and Wilkins walk, unless they can get a sign-and-trade for Flip (the Omen’s not eligible for such shenanigans, so we can dismiss that possibility).
2. Vitaly’s not going to slow the Sonic offense down one bit if he’s named the starter.
3. Seattle should sign Radman ASAP, either to the one-year extension they want or the six-year deal he craves (and which I’m leaning to with each passing day).
4. Pairing Nick and Vlade won’t hurt us. In addition to their expected offensive efficiency, the Sonics also did well on the defensive end with those two in the lineup, holding foes to 93 points if the stats are extrapolated to a full 48 minutes.

Tuesday, August 23

The Potato gets paid, yo

Not a big shock, but the Sonics inked Vitaly Potapenko today. The Times story, courtesy of AP, is here.


Still no word on what the Sonics are going to do regarding Damien Wilkins. Here's a quick bit from the St. Paul Pioneer Press :

"Briefly: [T-Wolves GM Jim] Stack said there was no indication whether the Seattle SuperSonics would retain restricted free agent Damien Wilkins. Minnesota made a five-year, $15 million offer to Wilkins last Thursday. The Sonics have until this Thursday to match the offer and thereby retain Wilkins."

Two quick takes:
  • If I'm Rick Sund, I would really think long and hard about if I want to commit five years worth of money to a guy who can't hit 30% from 3-point range, and who will never start on my team because he's stuck behind two much better players.
  • Doesn't 'Jim Stack' sound like a good porn name?

Monday, August 22


There has been considerable speculation this off-season regarding erstwhile Pacer free agent Dale Davis joining the Sonics' roster. His agent, Chubby Wells, even told David Locke that DD had narrowed his choices to Seattle and Detroit, a claim which I found to be bogus at best.

Well, here's a quote from Wells in the Detroit Free-Press on Sunday regarding the situation:

"Detroit's the front-runner," Wells said. "Everything is stuck right now as we wait for Michael Finley."

With Finley seemingly a lock to be headed for Miami (as the same article mentions), it certainly seems that the likelihood of Dale Davis wearing a Sonic jersey is, to borrow a famous line, somewhere between slim and none, and slim just left town.

Friday, August 19

Adios to "The Omen"?

Sonics forward Damien Wilkins

According to several sources, Damien "The Omen" Wilkins has signed an offer sheet with the Minnesota Timberwolves:
Published reports in Seattle said the Wolves' offer is for five years and $15 million for Wilkins, 25, who only has one season of NBA experience.

"Damien is someone that we believe has tremendous upside," Wolves General Manager Jim Stack said. "He continually improved throughout last season, and he became a significant contributor for Seattle during the playoffs."

Wilkins caught the attention of new Wolves coach Dwane Casey when he was the Sonics' associate head coach last season.

(from the Star Tribune)
According to NBA rules, the Sonics have seven days to match the offer. Does anyone think the Sonics will pay that kind of money for a guy who averaged 6.3 points a game? More importantly, does anyone think they should?

Well, let me throw my foam-based hat into the ring and say yes, they should re-sign Damien. Do I think he's worth 3 Mil a year? Based on his basketball skills, no. Wilkins flashed some moments of brilliance last year, looking at times like D-Mase with a jump shot, but it was mostly while performing mop-up duty at the end of a game—if the Sonics weren't willing to re-sign Jerome James based on his 15 minutes of fame during the playoffs, then they probably shouldn't reward "The Omen" for his 1.5 minutes of garbage time glory.

Re-signing Wilkins isn't about his talents on the basketball court, though, or even about Wilkins himself—it's about morale. After losing Casey, Nate, Jerome, and Antonio in the course of two months, the Sonics need to do something immediately to stop the hemorrhaging, and if that means forking out $3mil a year for 25-year-old with "potential", then I'm all for it. (Hell, we're probably still paying Ibby more than that!)

It's time for Wall-Walk to make some kind of peace offering to the fans and take one for the team. Damien Wilkins isn't the answer to all of the Sonics ailments, but it sure beats bleeding to death.

Monday, August 15


Seattle Supersonics center Vitaly Potapentkosomething
"Say hello to Mr. Elbow!"

The Sonic roster continues to take shape. According to Frank Hughes, Seattle is close to signing the Potato to a $3 million deal, although the number of years are not specified. Considering Vitaly isn’t going to get a better offer, I’m thinking it’s a one-year variety.

Assuming Hughes is right, here’s the current roster, with salary (in millions):

Allen, $16
Lewis, $8.6
Fortson, $6.4
Potato, $3
Collison, $1.8
Ridnour, $1.6
Swift, $1.8
Brunson, $1
Petro, $0.7

Those nine players add up to roughly $41 million, still well below the cap. Of course, there are a couple of question marks out there:

1. How much will Allen make this year? His contract is flexible, dependent upon the Sonics’ budget.
2. How much will Radman get? He hasn’t said yea or nay on the $42 mil./6-year deal the Sonics are dangling, so his figure could either be the $3.2 renewal, or the full $7 mil. Personally, I have a feeling he’s going to take a one-year deal and split Seattle next summer. Just a feeling, nothing more.
3. How does the remainder of the roster fill up? Assuming Mateen Cleaves re-signs for the third year of the Flint Experiment, and Radman inks for whatever price, that gives us 11 guys out of the 13 they are required to have under contract. Who are the two missing pieces? Anybody know Tom Chambers’ number?

Wednesday, August 10


There’s nothing shaking on the Sonic news wire, so I thought I’d take a quick look at the new CBA and see what interestings items popped out.

In addition to the much-discussed salary cap, and, of course, the ruling to prevent high school players from entering the draft, I found two pieces of interest to non-financial wizards such as myself (if you’re interested in a fantastic analysis of the new CBA, I suggest you read Dan Rosenbaum’s blog).

1. Active rosters are still at 12, but instead of phantom injuries, players will now be called “inactive.” Call me crazy, but I always liked how guys like Jon Sundvold would get strained oblique muscles in time for the Dale Ellis’ of the world to return from the DL. Now, they’ll just de-activate the Sundvolds and there won’t be any more “injuries.”

2. Players with less than 2 years of experience in the NBA can now be sent to the Development League without losing rights to said player. Would have been nice to have this option last year for ol’ Swifty. Assistants can also be sent to the DL to help develop players – or if the head coach found out they were assisting things they shouldn’t have.

Monday, August 8


Well, the schedule’s out, and it looks like the networks have taken an interest in the Sonics. The Supes will be on ABC once (Sun., Mar. 12 vs the Lakers as Sugar Ray and Colorado Kobe throw down at the Forum ... er, Staples Center), ESPN 4 times, and TNT 7 times.

One good thing about the schedule? The Sonics won’t play a team that won a playoff series last year until December, when they take on the Pacers in the 16th game of the season.

One bad thing about the schedule? Think the early January 2006 trip to Indy, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Philly is bad? Try this mid-February ’06 jaunt on for size: Milwaukee, Minnesota, San Antonio, Atlanta (phew), Orlando, and Miami.

Let’s hope Seattle isn’t locked in a tight race with the Nuggets or Wolves heading into that trip.

Saturday, August 6

"Brunson Burner" signs with Sonics

Rick Brunson signed a one year contract with the Seattle Supersonics on Friday

Let the rejoicing begin! The Seattle Supersonics signed "well traveled" guard Rick Brunson to a one year contract Friday. Rick Brunson, ladies and gentlemen! Rick . . . Brunson . . . (sigh)
Terms of the deal were not released. Brunson played with the Los Angeles Clippers last season, but had his rights renounced by the team Wednesday.

"Rick's playmaking ability, ball handling skills and size make him a nice complement for our team," Seattle general manager Rick Sund said in a statement. "He is a true point guard and I think he and Luke Ridnour will give us a good tandem at that position."

from the Seattle Times
I know Brunson came dirt-cheap, but am I the only one who wished they would've spent the extra money for Nick the Quick? Actually, I probably am.

Oh, and when Calabro starts using "Brunson Burner", just remember where you heard it first, kids!

Thursday, August 4

David Locke: You Rock(e)!

(Only know photo of Locke.)

The power of The Soul™ cannot be contained!

Even though I've been busy working for The Plumber this week, and Nussbaum has been working on a week-long medical Marijuana binge (hooray for Canada!), the Supersonicsoul publicity wagon just keeps on-a-rolling!

According to a reliable source, David Locke of KJR/Seattle P.I. fame mentioned The Soul on his fine radio show last night. We're all big fans of Mr. Locke here at the Soul™ (Hell, even Nussbaum likes him, and he hates everybody!), so we were all thrilled of course.

And just for the record, David, we don't know what "Ehlo is Mint" means either.

Tuesday, August 2


Future Seattle Supersonic Rick Brunson?
"A.D. may be a better player, but check out my ARM HAIR!"

With Rick Brunson rumored to be donning the green and gold, here’s a quick look at how he stacks up with Antonio Daniels, the man we hope he can come close to replacing.

Brunson’s an NBA nomad; should he leave the Clippers this summer he will don his eighth jersey in nine seasons. Remember, though, Daniels is also a vagabond – to a lesser extent – having joined his fifth team in nine years this summer.

Having said that, most of you are wondering one thing: “Can the Sonics find another diamond in the rough with Brunson, as they did with AD two years ago?” Here are some answers.

1. 3-Point Shooting. This is really the only area where Brunson has a noticeable edge on AD. After starting his career as a relatively poor shooter, Brunson has stepped up in the past four seasons, consistently hitting at least 35% beyond the arc. AD has never been a good shooter from deep, as his 30% mark of a year ago attests.

2. Rebounding. A small advantage. Per 48 minutes, Brunson has beaten AD almost every year of their collective careers.

3. Assists and Steals. Again, per 48 minutes, Brunson averages better figures than AD, by a nearly 3 assist, .5 steal margin.

1. Nearly everything else. Okay, it’s not quite all that bad, but it’s obvious that Brunson is nowhere near the player AD is/was, and I don’t just mean last year. AD has consistently posted better point/FGA numbers, better effective field goal percentage, higher FT percentage, field goal percentage, assist:turnover percentage, and just about any other percentage you can think of. Of note, AD gets to the line more often, does not commit nearly as many fouls, and turns the ball over half as often as Brunson.

Curiously, these guys have some parallels. Both drafted in 1998; both 6’4”; both nearly 200 pounds; both played on a number of teams; and both had career years last season. However, Brunson’s career year was starting 39 games for the Clippers, while AD’s was being named one of the best sixth men in the NBA for a team that nearly knocked off the NBA Champs (grrrr).

My conclusion? Brunson is no AD, but he does not have to be in this new Sonic era. Ridnour is going to play more minutes, so Brunson’s time will be no more than 15 minutes per game, unlike AD’s 27 mpg of a year ago. He may cost the Sonics a victory or two relative to AD over the course of the season, but not more than that. If Seattle can get him for a low salary, they should do it.