The lottery is drawing closer, and with it comes rampant speculation on who the Sonics should select.
I thought it makes a great opportunity to review the Sonics’ draft history, specifically the worst drafts in team history. I also thought it would be a good chance to mention Billy Paultz in an article for no good reason whatsoever.
Here you go:
1970: With a first-rounder and two seconds you’d think the Sonics could do better than Jim Ard, Jake Ford, and Pete Cross. Sadly, the Sonics pass up John Johnson, Geoff Petrie, Jim McMillan, Calvin Murphy, Tiny Archibald, Billy Paultz (The Whopper!), and Dan Issel.
1972: Again, the Sonics have a first and two seconds, and, again, they come up empty, unless you consider Bud Stallworth, Joby Wright, and Brian Taylor as significant acquisitions. Taylor had a decent career in the ABA, but he never played a game in Seattle. (On a side note, the draft lasted for 14 rounds; the Sonics didn’t get anything in the other 12 rounds either).
1975: The Sonics reach for Frank Oleynick with the 12th pick of the first round. Oleynick’s sole claim to fame was attending Seattle U. Maybe the Sonics figured they could save on airfare. Also available at that pick were: Ricky Sobers, Joe Bryant, Kevin Grevey, Gus Williams, World B Free, and Dan Roundfield.
1978: Coming off a berth in the NBA Finals, you couldn’t expect much in the draft, but considering that of the five guys the Sonics picked, only one of them (Ralph Drollinger, UCLA) even played in the league, and Drollinger’s “career” consisted of six games played, well, that’s not much of a draft, folks.
1981: “With the fifth overall selection in the NBA Draft, the Seattle Supersonics select ...” Danny Vranes? Considering the Sonics could have wound up with Tom Chambers, Orlando Woolridge, Rolando Blackman, Kelly Tripucka, Danny Schayes, Larry Nance, Danny Ainge, or Eddie Johnson (the good one), that’s just lame.
1994: With an upper-echelon pick for the first time in a while, Seattle goes for Carlos Rogers with the 11th pick. Of course, they could have had Jalen Rose, but who had heard of him?
2004-2006: We will not mention these seasons.
I'm still unwilling to write off 04-06 simply because big men take time to develop, and all 3 are very young with potential.
Nearly all young bigs take time to develop. Unfortunately, we don't want to end up being the Portland in this deal, maturing players for other teams to take advantage of.
The worst Sonic pick ever?
how about Rich King?
Richard Thomas (Rich) King (born April 4, 1969 in Lincoln, Nebraska) is an American former professional basketball player who was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1st round (14th overall) of the 1991 NBA Draft out of the University of Nebraska. A 7'2", 260-lb. center, King played four seasons with the Sonics, appearing in a total of 72 games and averaging 1.9 ppg.
That is futility.
-had 1 decent year (his rookie year, averaged almost 10)
-a long solid journeyman career)
-better than King, but not by much. Huge potential (was Gatorade HS PoY), never reached. But at least he HAD potential.
-decent career despite injuries)
-if you pick a longshot center at least pick a talented one)
-better player than actor, but not by much.
- was really playing well when killed in a car crash.
-again, a brief level of success, but another big man with more potential than King.
-started well but drugs destroyed his career-- still he had at least a decent season first).
Elliot Perry had a couple decent seasons as a back up PG. So did Chris Corchiani for that matter.
And in the back up PG mold, Doug Overton was also in this draft and simply refuses to go away.
All in all, what, at least 10 players who would have contributed more than King, many of which went well into the 2nd round.
how about the pippen for polynice trade? are we counting that? that one really worked out for us. too bad the bulls couldnt figure out how to accomplish anything with pippen...
Both good comments.
I thought about including Rich King, but if you look at his college numbers he wasn't a disaster. Plus, if you have to use Anthony Avent to back up your point, well, that's not exactly too great of a point, is it? (just kidding) Still, it can't be argued that King was a horrible pro. Maybe I'll make him an honorable mention.
As for Pippen and Polynice, the Sonics wound up selecting McKey in that draft, as well as getting the rights to Polynice. If they got 2 guys like McKey and O.P. in every draft, the Sonics would win the title every year. Trading Polynice for Pippen was a horrible move in hindsight, but if you can close your eyes to that catastrophe, the guys they got were good pros.
To me, the absolute worst draft is 1978, when the Sonics picked 5 guys and they combined to play 6 games in the league, and those 6 games came for the expansion Dallas Mavericks. Just awful.
Richard Dumas! Ike Austin!
That's all I've got to say.
they did epitomize the "better to burn out than fade away" aspect of athletics.
Ike cause he was lazy... Dumas, though, I had forgotten about until I did a little wikipedia research. Remembered him instantly when I heard the name. He was a stud athlete.
Not as sad as Ricky Berry, who was picked by Sacramento in 1988.
Now I've been looking over old drafts most of the day-- question-- Why wasn't Fennis Dembo a better pro? Was it on or off the court issues?
What about Harold "the show" Arcenaeux <-- sp?
Gerold Honeycutt? <--sp?
Felipe "SI Cover as a HS Senior" Lopez?
Both were classic small school NCAA tourney stars that seemed to have potential but never went anywhere.
I did some research and think the your conclusion that "Frank Oleynick’s sole claim to fame was attending Seattle U. Maybe the Sonics figured they could save on airfare" is lazy and not really fair; Oleynick, the 1st round pick of the Sonics in 1975, had an impressive career at (then Division 1) Seattle University:
G FG% FT% PPG
26 49.1 81.6 25.1
26 49.5 88.8* 27.3
All-American selection, *1st in the nation.
he averaged 6ppg for the Sonics his rookie season.
My choice for Worst draft pick? it's over 14 feet long: a tie between Mohammed Sene and/or Robert Swift!
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