Percy Allen has an interesting piece up regarding Chris Wilcox' contract impasse, and how this is Radmanovic all over again (he doesn't actually say that, but I think every Seattle fan is thinking it). Whether this impasse is more of a small footbridge or the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan is open to debate; after all, it is the job of Wilcox' agent to create hype. If he comes out and says everything is going swell in negotiations, he doesn't exactly have much pull, does he?
Regardless, I’m beginning to wonder how much Wilcox is worth. The prevailing wisdom is that Wilcox never got a chance in LA, languishing behind Elton Brand in a PF never-neverland, and that his burst of scoring in rebounding in Seattle wasn’t due to a salary drive, but to playing time. But is that the truth?
It may surprise you to know that this isn’t the first time Chris Wilcox has posted big numbers for an extended period. In fact, in November of 2004, Wilcox averaged 14 points and 6 boards, before seeing his playing time – and numbers – curtailed for the rest of the season.
But, Pete, you’re saying, doesn’t that mean that Wilcox just needed playing time to produce? Well, I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. It’s true, Wilcox was stuck behind one of the best 4’s in the game in Brand. But doesn’t it make you wonder just a little why Mike Dunleavy couldn’t find more time for an athletic 6’10” power forward who can score in traffic? Further, does it worry anyone else that Wilcox disappeared the final 5 games of the season, failing to score more than 10 points in any of them? Shouldn’t a guy who’s getting the money Wilcox is going to get put up solid numbers almost every night?
I’m sorry, but the longer this deal drags out the more I’m beginning to question the wisdom of locking up Chris Wilcox for 4 or 5 years, especially considering he hasn’t produced anything more than a one-month outburst. A common piece of wisdom in the NBA goes that it’s how you do the second time through the league that matters (see Murray, Flip), when defenses started planning for you and opposing coaches recognize you. Considering Wilcox has yet to produce in that sort of situation, I’d be hesitant to extend him the offer he’s expecting. And considering that someone like Drew Gooden is sitting out there, well, wouldn’t the money Seattle is earmarking for Wilcox be better spent on someone – like Gooden – who has produced consistently in the league for more than one month?