Wednesday, June 29

Sonics draft Frenchy center - a million fans weep

Johan Petro: He totally dominated the French Vineyard League!
Johan Petro: He totally dominated the French Vineyard League!

Somewhere in the depths of Canada, Nussbaum is shaking his fist at Wally Walker.

With the 25th pick of Tuesday's NBA Draft, The Seattle Supersonics picked Johan Petro, a seven-foot "project" from France. (Groan):
NEW YORK - The Seattle SuperSonics have picked up a Frenchman with the 25th overall pick in Tuesday night's NBA Draft, getting Johan Petro.

Petro played for Pau Orthez in the French Pro A league the last two seasons. He averaged 6 points and 3.3 rebounds in Pro-A, and 5.1 points in the Euroleague last season.

Petro played well in the 2004 European Championship, averaging nearly 18 points, 11 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.2 steals in five qualifying games. In the challenge round, he averaged 9 points and 7.8 rebounds in four contests.

The seven-footer is just 19 years old, but he's already earned significant playing time against upper-level international players. He has a nice touch inside and will clean the offensive glass from time to time.

Petro also entered the NBA draft last year before withdrawing his name from consideration.

from KOMO TV
Since I know nothing about Petro (except for his ridiculous name), I suggest we all take a deep, cleansing breath, and read about Mr. Fancypants here:

Johan Petro bio
Johan Petro interview
Official Johan Petro Website!

And, in case that wasn't bad enough, the Sonics drafted another French Guy in the second round! Sacre bleu!

Tuesday, June 28

Feeling Drafty?

The Seattle Sonics have the 25th pick in today's NBA Draft.
This guy went number one. Seriously.

As the Sonics prepare for the #25 pick in today's NBA Draft (yawn!), Supersonicsoul looks back at the best and worst in Sonics Draft History:

Best Pick: Gary Payton (1990)
Worst Pick: Rich King (1991)
Worst Traded Pick: Scottie Pippen (1987)
Where are they now?:Vladimir Stepania (1998)

What do you think? Do you have a favorite draft memory/nightmare? Do you think the Supes will make a trade (or fake a trade, like the Kemp for Pippen one in '98?)

One thing's for certain: The Sonics have had some up and down draft picks over the years, but at least they never drafted Sam Bowie.

Tuesday, June 21

Shocker! Union, Owners avoid lockout

NBA commish David Stern

In the most shocking turn of events since the Michael Jackson verdict, NBA owners and the Player's Union agreed to terms on a new six-year collective bargaining agreement today:
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- A one-year increase in the minimum age to be eligible to play in the NBA was part of a new six-year collective bargaining tentatively agreed to Tuesday by owners and players, averting the possibility of a lockout.

Commissioner David Stern and union director Billy Hunter flew to the NBA Finals from New York and announced the agreement prior to Game 6 between San Antonio and Detroit. The deal came on the fourth consecutive day of talks between the sides to replace the seven-year pact that expires June 30.

``We're gratified that we were able to avoid a work stoppage,'' Stern said. ``This agreement creates a strong partnership with our players, which is essential for us.''

The sides reached agreement on several key issues that had held up a settlement since serious talks began in late February. Among them were a one-year increase in the minimum age for draft eligibility, a reduction in the maximum length of long-term contracts from seven years to six, and reductions in the size of annual salary increases in those long-term contracts from a maximum of 12 1/2 percent to 10 1/2 percent.

Read the rest here.

Monday, June 20

Sund Signed Soon?

Seattle Supersonics GM Rick Sund.
"No, I'm not Kevin Calabro's dad!"

According to today's Seattle P.I., Sonics GM Rick Sund is about to re-sign with the team. Does this mean Nate could be next?
General manager Rick Sund is just about done negotiating a new deal with the Sonics.

He's just not done negotiating for the Sonics.

Sund is expected to re-sign with the team this week for what is believed to be a three-year contract. It's the first agreement for the Sonics in a summer with a long to-do list. Eight players and head coach Nate McMillan are unsigned beyond next season, and teams can begin contacting free agents beginning July 1, barring a lockout.

When reached last night, Sund declined to comment on the situation other than to say, "I'm optimistic that something will get done in the next couple of days."

Read the rest here.

Thursday, June 16

Dwane Casey to coach T-Wolves

Longtime Sonics assistant coach Dwane Casey could sign with the Minnesota Timeberwolves today.
Coach Casey: "So long, and thanks for all the fish."

According to the Seattle P.I., longtime Sonics coach Dwane Casey is expected to become head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves as early as this week:
A year ago, Dwane Casey sat in his office and joked he had earned Ph.D. status in the NBA.

"Paid his dues," Casey said.

It should pay off this week with his first head-coaching job in the NBA. According to multiple sources, the Minnesota Timberwolves are ready to name him their new head coach as soon as contract specifics are worked out.

The sides were in negotiations yesterday and could have reached an agreement last night. One source said there aren't any snags anticipated and an announcement could come as early as this week.

Casey, 48, has been a Sonics assistant coach since 1994 when he was hired by George Karl. When Nate McMillan was promoted to head coach after Paul Westphal was fired in November 2000, Casey became associate head coach, the position he has served in the past four seasons.

Read the rest here.
Well, everyone here at Supersonicsoul is sorry to see Coach Casey leave (especially to coach our biggest division rivals!), but as Zach said in the comments below, it's about damn time someone made him a head coach. Good luck, D.C.!

Tuesday, June 14

Paying Respects... Better Nate Than Never

"Let's see now. New York: Spike Lee. Detroit? Slim Shady and Kid Rock. Portland? That fat kid in the Shilo Inns t-shirt."

Nate McMillan's stock seems to be rising during a Finals series he's not even involved in.

In Tuesday morning's Daily Dime, Marc Stein gives Coach and the Supes some props for giving the Spurs some competition this year:
McMillan's Seattle SuperSonics, remember, toppled San Antonio twice early in the regular season and then did what Brown's Pistons are trying to do now in the NBA Finals.

...The Sonics know how to erase a 2-0 playoff deficit after San Antonio opens a series with two cushy home wins … even though without the team's second-best player (Rashard Lewis) and the best scorer off the bench (Vladimir Radmanovic).
Similar thoughts have comforted me in this early off-season. "We woulda won that series if we had Rashard and Vlade!" "We coulda beat Phoenix AND Detroit no problem if we got past San Antone!" Ah, where would sad-sack sports fans be in the offseason without their trusty Coulda-Wouldas?

[Hm. Coulda-Wouldas. Sounds like an 80s animated cartoon/toy line. "Up next on NBC: 'The Fuzzy Wuzzy Coulda-Woulda Fun-Time Hour!'" Probably coulda matched up well with the Mon Chi-Chis and Care Bears of that era. Curses! If only I'd been a marketing prodigy in 5th grade instead of a "Yars Revenge" prodigy.]

Oh, and Stein also casually mentions Nate as a possible successor to Larry Brown, should Brown leave Detroit for Cleveland. Just imagine the coulda-wouldas then:

"We coulda won the 06 'Chip if Nate woulda stayed instead of going to the Pistons."

SuperSonicSoul Summer Intern

Thursday, June 9

Where Are They Now? The Other K-G

Kendall "Don't Hit Me in the Face" Gill

Former Sonic Kendall Gill is taking his I Wanna Be Like Mike obssession beyond wearing a sweatband on his bicep, with his own pursuit of "a lifelong dream."

Thanks to B "Huggy Bear" Soto for the tip.

Monday, June 6

I don't love the Sonics that much

Danny Fortson of the Seattle Supersonics
Did you date DaFort in College? I'm sorry.

The hilarious har-har factory called McSweeney's has a great story called "Understanding the Seattle Supersonics by comparing them to girls you met in college":

On Ray Allen :
"You knew it wouldn't last—she was smarter and funnier and way better-looking than you—but you treasured your time together all the more since you knew how finite it was"
Reggie Evans:
"Wow. There was this party right before spring break. And you were both going to be on campus for spring break and just wow. You almost hated to see the bruises fade."
Read it and weep.

(Thanks to the 400 people who sent me this link last week while I was sick in bed with the stomach flu - the Danny Fortson one alone prolonged my illness by four days.)

Thursday, June 2

Nate to Sign?

According to the Seattle Times, Nate and the Sonics are talking again. Well, Nate's agent and the Sonics are talking, but you know what I meant.

No figures were revealed, but here's a list of what some other coaches in the league with Nate's credibility are making:

Doc Rivers: $5 mil per season (4 years)
Rick Carlisle: $4 mil (4)
Jim O'Brien: $4 mil (3)
Byron Scott: $3.3 mil (3)

Nate's coming off a 4 year, $10.8 mil contract, so, obviously, he's going to look to make more than that, and he'll get it, especially considering the number of suitors that will come calling on July 1st if Wally Walker hasn't gotten Nate's signature by then.

Given that most of the coaches are signing 4-year deals, that's probably what Nate will get. I'd put his value at above the Fratellos, Scotts, and Bickerstaffs, and below that of the Browns, Popovichs, and (Jeff) Van Gundys. What does that add up to?

Here's one guess: 4 years, $17 million.

Wednesday, June 1

Feeling a Draft: Part III

Ht: 6’11 Wt: 248 Age: 18
College: South Kent Prep HS (Conn.)

Believe it or not, Blatche can drain an NBA 3. And, believe it or not, that’s about his best offensive skill.

With good speed, above-average leaping, and aforesaid shooting skills, Blatche is a unique talent. After not showing any proclivity for playing in the low post throughout his HS career, Blatche showed an ability to do so in post-season tournaments. tabs his upside as a future Chris Bosh ... or a present-day Cliff Robinson.

Obviously, with no low-post background, Blatche will need to be a work-in-progress for whoever picks him. Luckily, the Sonics have big guys that can play right now (Collison, Radman, Fortson, Evans), meaning Blatche can play a few minutes, take a couple of 3s, and learn how to score in the block from his teammates and coaching staff. His frame apparently is ready to take on more weight (a la Shawn Kemp, who took that advice a little too far), so it’s possible he could develop into a player who can hit the 3, score down low, and guard the big fellas.

To me, that seems like a lot of “could be’s.” If Seattle wants Blatche to be a faster version of Vladimir Radmanovic, then we’re okay. If they’re looking for more than that, well they’re expecting too much, in my opinion.

Blatche isn’t a bad pick for the Sonics at this part of the draft, he’s just not someone you can realistically expect to be major contributor right away. Still, with his ability to knock down jump shots, Blatche could help off the bench, and would most likely fill at least some of Radman’s minutes should the Sonics make a trade/let Vlade walk away.