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.