Couple of games that affected the Sonics' drive for Oden last night. Boston beat the Raptors (yay), but Portland and Milwaukee got their L's on, meaning the Sonics now hold the 6th-worst record in the league (going by percentages). With a road game in Minny tonight, a loss would move Seattle a step further away from Philly and a little closer to the Hawks.
With that in mind, here's how some of the draft "experts" see the Sonics going:
Draft Express: Spencer Hawes (um, no thanks)
NBA Draft.net: Jeff Green, Georgetown (author makes mental note to pay extra attention during Final Four)
Hoops Hype: Julian Wright, Kansas (again, no thanks)
MyNBA Draft.com: Joakim Noah, Florida (I cannot think of a player I would less like to have on the Sonics, and I'm including junior college guys with one leg)
Fantapedia.net: Yi Jianlian, China ("his face up game would fit in with the Sonics' up-tempo offense"; right, because what the Sonics desperately need is a center who doesn't like to play down low).
Should be an interesting game tonight. I was shocked by how the Sonics handled Garnett in the last meeting since you would assume he'd be able to get whatever he wants in the paint. I'd have to expect the Wolves to get something tonight, though.
If the Sonics don't end up with a top-2 pick, I wonder if they'd take Roy Hibbert. Yes, he'd be yet another center on a team full of them, but he would have several advantages over the three previous picks.
First, he's played three years of college basketball, meaning he's played against legitimate competition.
Second, he's not just tall (7'2"), but has a legit NBA frame (unlike Sene/Petro, who are both way too skinny).
Third, he actually has some semblance of an offensive game, and he's a very good defensive player.
The biggest downside on him is that he lacks (at this point, at least) the stamina to play big minutes in the league. But unlike the potpourri of potential the team has drafted the last three years, he'd be ready to play from day one.
Is anyone else getting the sinking feeling that no matter how high the Sonics draft, we're going to be severely disappointed? The only guy on that list that looks remotely intriguing to me is Green. He looked pretty fantastic in that UNC game on Sunday. But unless we get the first or second pick and land Durant or Oden, I worry the Sonics are going to do something completely foolhardy with their pick yet again.
My picks, in order of preference for this team:
5. Jeff Green
If one of those guys isn't available when the Sonics pick, I'd say they're better off dealing the pick plus Rashard and/or Watson and/or Wilcox to get something really good.
Good call on hibbert! I've been loving watching him during the tournament and am psyched to see him go up against Oden.
I agree with Nuss, too, Joakim Noah is unbeleivably annoying. I guess I'd root for him if he was on my team, but it'd be tough. Plus, I don't think he'll be great NBA player. He has a lot of Billy Owens to him if you ask me.
I keep tellin ya, the balls will roll in our favour and we'll land Oden. Then on draft night we'll trade him to the Nicks with Lewis for Jerome & Nate & other filler. Roll on the good times!
I saw on sonicscentral.com that Rick Carlisle might be out in Indiana. Any thoughts about bringing on the Rickster to replace Bob Hill?
Talk about a change in attitude, going from Bob Weiss to Bob Hill to RIck Carlisle. The guys are going to be begging for Nate to come back.
I'm not as pessimistic about who the Sonics take this spring, Eric. It's a great year to have a lottery pick after all, so even Sund shouldn't have a problem finding someone useful.
The big problem in my eyes is the lack of knowledge about how the roster will take shape this summer. Not knowing Rashard's address for the next couple of years will be huge; if they can't sign him before the draft, then does that open up the possibility of drafting a 3? Is Gelabale or Wilkins ready to be a starter? Is Swift going to step it up? What vet can they get to back him up, and what about Collison's role if Swift and Wilcox are starters?
Lots and lots of questions ...
I'm not a big fan of neither Hibbert nor Green.
Hibbert seems to unatheltic to be dominant on the next level and Green is a tweener forward and I don't like those.
If we end up with a pick in the 6 to 8 range I'd look to trade down a couple of spots or use that pick and draft Acie Law IV of Texas A&M. We then would have to move either Luke or Earl.
BTW: I don't see a sf in this draft that would justify using our current 1st round pick.
I disagree about Acie Law. You're right, he's definitely the best PG in the draft - by a long shot - but I think the Sonics would be making a big mistake in drafting him.
Remember, Luke Ridnour was Pac-10 player of the year at Oregon - he wasn't a chump in college. By drafting Law, the Sonics would be forced to deal away Ridnour AND Watson, since it only makes sense to take Law if he's got an older, veteran player to guide him. It doesn't make sense to draft a PG because your current ones suck, then expect those same sucky PGs to guide him, does it?
I know it makes sense for the Sonics to improve their play at the PG (it might be the most pressing issue on the team), but solving it through the draft is a mistake to my way of thinking. The Sonics would be much better off going after a veteran (Cassell? Payton? Chucky Atkins?) and hoping Ridnour can turn it around next year.
First-- who makes the decisions on these sites-- NBADraftExpress has us taking 3(!) Centers (okay, so Big Baby is a C in a PF's body who thinks he is a SG/SF).
Whoever came up with that has truly no idea about the roster construct of the Sonics.
Hibbert scares me-- he is just so SLOW. He does not have NBA athleticism, and I'd rather take my chance with the "skinny" guys Petro and Sene developing than have a lumbering limited C who can't match up in today's up-and-down game. Plus, aren't we a "running team"?!? Why would we get the primary plodder in this draft, to play a position we already have 3 young guys developing?
No, if we grab a 1st round Center, it needs to be Oden, or we don't do it.
I agree that Green is unsettling as a tweener who lacks true SF offensive skills. I don't see him being a contributor w/o extended development. Plus, uhm, are we planning on having Lewis back or not? If not, then SF is an option, but I don't see one in the "big heavy" top of this draft. I hate to say it, hating him, but Noah is probably the best potential 3 in the draft-- but I don't want him.
I just can't understand why we didn't trade Lewis, have RayRay get surgery a month ago and tank. Maddening, to be perpetually stuck in mediocrity.
If we end up in no-man's range, I say we go with NC's Wright if available, Horford, or the Chinese guy, who at least has upside and may also potentially move to the 3.
But we'll probably take Hawes or Hibbert, because, you know, we need another center project.
I'll give Sund and Hill a pass on this season, at least as far as moves go. None of us know how hamstrung Sund has been by team management in regard to transactions, and for Hill's sake, he's been forced to take a selfish attitude, since he really has no alternative. Playing for the future does him no good, so he may as well play the best guys he has.
It just seems like there is a power struggle right now between Sund and Wilkins, with Bennett as the decider. It's too bad that Bennett was fiddling with the stadium, when he could have secured the future of his franchise by tanking earlier, as you suggested. Instead, the organization stuck its collective thumb up its ass and really screwed up its chance at grabbing the two most impressive prospects since Shaq and Duncan.
Looking with some more detail, I think if we don't get the top lotto, we should trade down to the middle of the first round and pick Tucker from Wisconsin and see if we can get an additional first rounder next year out of it, from a potential lottery team.
Then we have an adequate Lewis replacement while we sit and lose for a year.
Oh yeah... in this plan, we are HORRIBLE next year, but neither Durant nor Odom declare in 07, and we get both lotto picks and grab them both.
I know... lay off the herb. But a guy can dream, can't he??!?!
In that plan do the Sonics hire the Pussycat Dolls to be their dance team for next year, and the stadium gets built using money found under Key Arena? Because that's about as likely!
I think Rick Carlisle would be a really interesting option if he's available. He got a raw deal in Detroit, and I don't think he can be blamed for the Pacer's lack of success the last few years (O'Neal/Tinsley injuries, the whole Detroit brawl/suspensions, etc.) . He was also the best color guy Calabro ever had, IMHO.
Nuss, you're right that it's a deep draft... I should keep an open mind. But when Rick Sund drafts Baby Huey of Harvey University with the third pic, all bets are off.
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