Monday, August 21

Les Sonics

The dog days of August are upon we writers of NBA blogs. With no signings to report, here's a quick look at how Gelabale and Petro are faring at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

Gelabale: 9.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 62% FT
Petro: 5.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg

Petro had a nice showing against Serbia & Montenegro, posting 8 points in a mere 12 minutes. Likewise, Gelabale's had 1 good game (14 points and 7 boards against Nigeria), and 2 other not-so-good games. Too early to get a good read on the games, but Gelabale's presence in the starting lineup is reassuring, and Petro has done what you would expect out of such a young player.

If you're wondering what the caliber of play is in these games, here's a quote from the AP story of France's win over Nigeria:

"Frederic Weis was the catalyst for France early on."

Um, yeah.

In other news, Eva Longoria's happy Tony Parker got hurt, because it makes it easier for her to root for the American team. Glad that crisis was averted.

Oh, and Ibo Kutluay is still alive. He also scored more points in 30 minutes against Lithuania than he did in his entire Sonic career. I'm guessing signing Ibo to a 2-year contract won't go on Rick Sund's resume any time soon.

Friday, August 18

X-Rated Action

Former Seattle Supersonics Xavier McDaniel with some white has a Q&A with Xavier McDaniel. Here, my all-time favorite Supersonic talks about my all-time favorite Supersonic playoff run:
What's your favorite memory from your Sonics career?

I would say going to the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers - having an opportunity really to beat them, playing four tough games. We lost all four of them. The two in Los Angeles could have gone either way - it felt like Magic Johnson got some calls he didn't deserve. Dale (Ellis) got his shot blocked by Michael Cooper in Game 3. I hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lose by one, being down by four. It was a tough series, but it was a situation where we didn't win that many games the year before, we were picked to be the worst team in the league again and we all just came together and meshed. Bernie was the mastermind behind everything. Tom Chambers and Dale were the go-to guys. I was that third go-to guy where, if one of them was slacking off, I could pick it up offensively. We ran a trap defense. I think that was a great year. The only part about that is I'm sad we never built on it. That kind of always spoiled things for me.
Read the complete interview here.

Wednesday, August 16


It's still early, but here's a quick look at how the minutes may shape up next year for the Sonics.

Player, Minutes
Allen, 37
Lewis, 37
Wilcox, 34
Ridnour, 30
Watson, 28
Swift, 21
Collison, 18
Petro, 18
Wilkins, 15
Sene, 5
Gelabale, 5
Total, 248

Those numbers are obviously subject to change, especially in regard to Swift and Petro, as nobody knows which of those two guys will take over the 5 spot this year (my early vote is for Swift, if for no other reason than his additional seasoning and apparent physical development during the offseason). Plus, it's possible that Ridnour may see his numbers decline as the season progresses and Bob Hill salivates at the idea of Watson's strong defense getting more PT.


Wilcox, The Second Coming?

If you dig deep enough in the coverage surrounding Chris Wilcox' signing, you'll find some good stuff:

"There is always going to be somebody who is hating on you. They hated on Jesus, so I can’t say they won’t hate on me.”

Tuesday, August 15

Sonic News

Quite a bit of Sonic coverage in the 3 dailies today, and by Sonic coverage, I mean coverage other than Clay Bennett/OKC/Schultz coverage (which, I think we can all agree, is about as fun to read as a study on snail remains).

Anyhow, the Times, PI, and Tribune all agree that Chris Wilcox will be inked to a 3-year deal, with his salary targeted at either $7 or $8 million per season, or basically what everyone's been expecting for about 2 months.

(It's official - read the Sonics' press release here.)

Buried in Frank Hughes' story at the Tribune was this nugget:

"From here, Sund is expected to offer a two-year, $25 million contract extension to Rashard Lewis in late September..."

Sounds as though Lewis would be getting slightly less than his market value, but it's a good deal for the Sonics. Also of note from the PI:

"Wilcox is expected to compete with Nick Collison for the starting power forward position this season ..."

Really, does anyone expect Collison to have any chance at all of starting over Wilcox? I think it would be more likely to see Earl Watson surpass Ridnour than to see Collison surpass Wilcox, but maybe I'm off base here.

In any event, a good bit of news for the Sonics today, amidst a summer of craptacular headlines. Hooray for us.

Monday, August 14

Wilcox to Stay?

Chris Wilcox of the Seattle SuperSonicsI think anyone who writes/blogs (man do I hate that word) about the NBA should have a laminated card taped to their computer monitor. On it, they should have in bold-faced type:


This in light of the accumulating evidence that 1) Chris Wilcox will sign a 3-year deal for $20 million with the Sonics and 2) Drew Gooden will sign a deal with the Cavaliers. As of 1 week ago, all evidence pointed to neither of these events taking place, and yet, here we stand, with both likely to go down by mid-week.

Of course, to Sonics fans, this is a great thing. Signing Wilcox to a 3-year deal at that price is fantastic. Even if he turns out to be a 2-month flash in the pan in a contract drive, the Sonics will soon be rid of his contract. If he turns out to be a stud, well the Sonics just signed a double-double caliber PF for about $7 million a year. Not bad.

With Wilcox seemingly in place, it's now time to start looking at the Sonics' roster and starting lineup. Here's the roster as of today:

Fortson (!)
Wilcox (?)

Fortson's playing status with the team is TBD, but he's on the roster regardless. No matter how you cut it, the Sonics have a couple of roster spots to fill. It seems likely that Noel Felix is sitting pretty for one of them, leaving one open. I've thought that a 3rd-string PG will likely fit that bill. Any thoughts out there on who the Sonics should pick up? To get you started, here's's list of available free agents.

Wednesday, August 9

The other Eddie Johnson

It appears former Seattle Supersonic Eddie Johnson might be a child molester.

Not the "EJ" Eddie Johnson (pictured on the left) that we know and love, of course, but the "Fast" Eddie Johnson of the '87 Sonics. Read the whole story at Seattlest.

Thanks to Seth for the tip!

Tuesday, August 8

Happy Birthday, Rashard

In honor of Rashard Lewis' 27th birthday today (hey, doesn't it seem like he's been in his 20s for about 13 years now?), here are 5 facts about Rashard Lewis that even most die-hard Sonic fans probably don't know:

1. Rashard's most comparable player at age 26 is James Worthy
2. Despite not making the All-Star team in '05-'06 after making it the year before, Rashard stats are identical for the 2 seasons, perhaps even better for this past season
3. The last 10 guys picked in the 1st round of the '98 draft, while Lewis sat in the green room and stewed: Roshown McLeod, Ricky Davis, Brian Skinner, Tyronn Lue, Felipe Lopez, Al Harrington, Sam Jacobson, Vladimir Stepania, Corey Benjamin, Nazr Mohammed
4. Of the 31 guys picked ahead of Lewis in the draft, only 5 have scored as many points (Bibby, Jamison, Carter, Nowitzki, and Pierce)
5. At age 26, Lewis averaged 20 pts, 5 boards, 2 assists, and 1 steal. At age 26, Worthy averaged 20 pts, 5 boards, 4 assists, and 1 steal.

Rashard's a tough guy to pigeonhole. 6'10", he's a great outside shooter, yet he can also run the floor. He's not much for defense, but he's tall enough to shut down any SF in the league. He's been in Seattle longer than any Sonic, yet he's not nearly as popular as guys that have arrived since his debut. In sum, he is a conundrum, a tall small forward whose phenomenal talent has left Sonic fans always wanting more.

But maybe, just maybe, we should just accept Rashard for what he is - a classic 3. Great scorer, acceptable defender, capable of scoring 20 points every night, and a borderline all star. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't mind having a guy like that on my team.

Friday, August 4

Radman Redux

As if this summer of Seattle hoops news wasn't bad enough to begin with, now the Seattle Times reports the Sonics are planning on pulling a Radmanovic on Chris Wilcox. (Kudos to the Times and Percy Allen for running the most Sonics stories this summer, by the way).

You have to especially enjoy this quote from Jeff Fried, Wilcox' agent. "A one-year deal, in our mind, is not a deal," Fried said. "One year, in our mind, left Chris with no alternatives."'

Ah, the ol' player-backed-into-the-corner bit, the truest sign of oncoming autumn. Is this more negotiating, or are the Sonics and Wilcox truly at an impasse? No one can ever know the truth in these situations, and it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the Sonics would call a press conference for Monday to announce they had signed Chris Wilcox to a 5-year, $33 million contract, but I'm beginning to get that same feeling in my stomach I did last summer, when Radman, Reggie Evans, and Flip Murray saw their contract talks drag on throughout August and September.

I said it before, and I'll repeat it now: signing Chris Wilcox to a one-year deal is an absolute nightmare situation for the Sonics. With word that Wilcox is growing miffed at the Sonics for not inking him, we've now got the potential for a historically unmotivated player with poor work habits coming into camp with a chip on his shoulder.

Oh, yeah, that should work out well.

Tuesday, August 1

Wilcox Still Undecided

Reports are still trickling in regarding Chris Wilcox' free agency status, with his agent telling the PI that Wilcox if it comes down to signing a one-year deal and waiting for FA next year, "Chris is prepared to do that."


In my mind, Wilcox signing a one-year deal is an absolute worst-case scenario, even worse than letting him go for a bucket of wings and a 2nd-round draft pick.

Seattle GM Rick Sund chimed in as well, stating, "We've had dialogue the past few weeks but we are not close to an agreement." I know it's all posturing on both sides, but the longer this thing drags out, the worse of a feeling I'm getting. In a perfect world, Wilcox would take the 3-year deal he's been offered, as he'll be able to command a good salary at the end of it, and the Sonics won't be on the hook for a monster deal if he turns out to be the 2006 version of Jerome James/Calvin Booth/Jim McIlvaine.

In other news, Johan Petro may or may not be on the French World Championship squad. According to FIBA, Petro is competing with Ronny Turiaf for a center spot, and one of them will have to go. Be nice to see Petro get some more recognition, but I'll be honest, seeing him get some rest wouldn't be so bad, either. And, for what it's worth, does anyone know if Gelabale is playing in the tournament as well? I'm beginning to think that the government should start using European basketball leagues for their witness protection programs - it's next to impossible to find a boxscore or team roster for the myriad of tournaments that go on over there.