"We've been in contact [with Lenny Wilkens]. We'll probably stay in contact on and off until July 1."The bidding is expected to reach $15 million per season.
Saturday, May 26
Lewis Files for FA
Shocking, I know. But just to make it official, Rashard Lewis filed for free agency on Friday (first report goes to KRIV in Houston, Texas). The Times and PI also checked in with stories as well (quick note to Percy Allen at the Times: the 6.6 rebounds per game is Rashard's 3rd-best effort of his career, not his career-high; it's not a big thing, but it does defuse the "contract-year" hype we're going to be hearing in the next couple of months). Not much interesting news, but according to the espn.com story, Lewis' agent, Tony Dutt, commented:
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Sadly he won't be back.
But even as a Mavs fan, I can say the Ridnour/Allen/Durant/Wilcox/Swift-Petro starting 5 seems solid for 2-3 years.
I have heard a bunch of names for a sign-and-trade. One I have heard is with the Orlando Magic, JJ Reddick and Darko Milicic.
PG - Watson/Ridnour
SG - Allen/Reddick
SF - Durant/Wilkins
PF - Wilcox/Collison
C - Milicic/Swift
That is probably one of the deepest and youngest teams in the West. If everyone, namely Allen, stays healthy, that lineup can definately be a decent force. 50 games? Maybe.
Another I have heard is Gerald Wallace.
A couple of things to think about re. Milicic (quotes are courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel).
1. "Milicic is expected to be asking for $7 million to $8 million his first season and a contract that could reach $60 million."
2. "But Milicic also said he wants a meatier role -- whether it is with the Magic or elsewhere. He realizes the Magic 'play through' Howard but said, 'Personally, I want to be the guy a team plays through. I don't want to be just a player who's there.'"
I'm really not interested in paying that much money to a guy who doesn't even rebound as well as Nick Collison. If Milicic is looking for a five- or six-year deal, let somebody else be on the hook for it. That's the kind of contract teams wind up looking to unload 3 years into it, and that's exactly the kind of situation the Sonics do NOT want to be a part of. It's entirely possible that Darko will become a decent 5; it's just as likely that what he did this year was as good as he going to get. Plus, acquiring Darko means abandoning the Robert Swift Project. That might be a good idea, but considering that Swift's still getting paid peanuts, it makes more sense to me to roll the dice with a one- or two-year contract on a vet while Swift develops, then go after a big center after the season if Swift doesn't pan out.
Plus, Reddick isn't the kind of guy the Sonics need, in my opinion. I'd much rather see an Antonio Daniels-type player backing up Ray, assuming, of course, that the Sonics are going to deal either Watson or Ridnour this summer. They can find somebody like that with one of their 2 2nd-round picks, or hope that Gelabale continues to improve this summer.
Darko would give you guys a nice presence in the middle. I know you aren't too high on him right now, but he has to be better than Sene and Petro, right?
I don't know how Redick would work out. He's like Ray Allen, only he can't do anything off the dribble. So he's actually not like Ray Allen at all. He could turn into a decent zone-buster if the Sonics have an inside presence. Darko could provide that, although he prefers to play the perimeter. Oden might command that respect, but that's assuming that Portland passes on him and takes Durant instead, which it might.
Let's not jump gun. Not everything is as the media reports it. They have been known to be wrong. I think the Sonics will step up and give Rashard a deal and Rashard will give Seattle the respect to give them the first shot. I feel good that he will finish his career with the Sonics, he just needs to test the waters!!!
I think we are in a really good situation here. If Lewis wants one of those $15-per six year deals, teams are going to have to give up something to get him because very few teams can afford him. I think the only two teams that can probably sign him outright are the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats. I don't think he is interested in Charlotte, and while Orlando might be attractive, I think he might want to go to a contender.
I would prefer to keep him, but if we can do a sign-and-trade, that will work better.
I'm not a huge Reddick fan, but I think he would fit in good in Seattle. We all know he can shoot it, but I think he is a better athlete than he is given credit for. Plus, he was hurt last year.
The Magic, if they're interested, will pitch that they would be a contender if Lewis signed with them. They play in the East, where anything's possible, but I don't think there's any way an East team will beat a West team in the finals for quite some time, especially now that Oden and Durant are out west.
from what I understand, only the Sonics can offer him a six-year deal; other teams can only offer a five-year. Also, the Sonics are allowed to offer him a 10.5% increase each year, other teams only 7 or 8 %. That's why a sign and trade is most likely, because I'm sure Shard would rather have a six-year than five-year deal. Just depends on how likely the Sonics are to find a dance partner.
With the addition of Durant and sign-and-trade opportunities that come along with lewis's expiring contract, the Sonics are in a good position to really develop a quality team that could contend in the near future. This possibility is boosted even higher with the first and fifth picks in the second round of the deepest draft in… ever.
Now it really comes down to our front office. The sonics success will be decided by the immediate performance of our new front office. If we take advantage of our wealth of current opportunities and make some smart moves, we could secure our spot as an elite team in the near future. If we don’t, we have Durant.
Anyways, here are some of the possible outcomes that I think we could swing with some quality play by our front office.
First of all, if we want to stay in Seattle, there would be nothing better than the sun’s style run and gun offense that could be pulled off by a lineup of ridnour, allen, Durant, lewis, and Wilcox. At worst, this would be such an exciting lineup to watch. At best, we could enjoy some of the success that phoenix has had using this style of play in recent years. If that doesn’t pan out well enough, we can just move Lewis next year for some relatively young talent in position of need, and play for the future.
The problem with this course of action is that we would lose the ability to trade lewis in some sort of package for picks in the deepest draft the league will see in a long, long time. I would love to see us trade Ra along with possibly Luke or Watson in a package for a high pick and maybe some glue players, freeing up some salary room to pick up one of the other free agents this year. I know this might take a three team trade and maybe just a little bit of magic, but this is my wet-dream situation for the sonics in the off-season:
Sign and trade lewis to acquire the rights to Mike Conley Jr. and maybe some glue. This would give us a very solid young point guard who can actually play defense(what?!). This sort of a trade would also give us some salary space that we could use to sign a big time free agent. A free agent like… Gerald Wallace. This is a bit of a reach for a couple reasons. First off he’s somewhat of a risk because of injury. Second off, he might be a little too pricey for us, but the injury aspect might help keep him in our range. When you get down to it though, Wallace is a ridiculously good defender who can rebound, score some points, and play any position SG-PF. Yes please. Oh yeah, and he’s 25. I think that would work out well with KD and Conley. Factor in the young and rising Collison, and assume one of our center projects pans out to be halfway decent, and we now know who is going to be competing with the blazers down the road. If we get some glue guys in the trade with lewis, we could offer up them and/or a PG to help make Wallace a sonic. The fact that Wallace and KD can play SG also frees us up to (don’t shoot me) trade Ray Allen. We aren’t going to win rings with ray. I’m sorry, we just won’t. We shouldn’t close off the idea of trading him away and rebuilding for the future. Think about how good Seattle could be in the long run with Conley, Durant, Wallace, Collison, and a good, young center. Throw in a bench of Wilcox (although we could trade him to make the above happen), and either luke or earl, Gelabale, Wilks, Wilkins, and Swift, oh my. The youth and talent that team would have just blows my mind. The best thing is that, really, it isn’t beyond possible.
Brian, there's next to no chance that a draft pick of this years draft would be included in any sign & trade deals this summer, as free agency starts about a week after the draft and teams would have to not sign their draft picks, to include them in this deal.
So any picks, included in a potential Lewis deal, would be in 2008 at the earliest. Still, we should look what we could get for him and then decide what to do. I also wouldn't have a problem with your idea about re-signing him, trying to make this work and trade him, if it doesn't goes well.
To me, the most important thing this summer will be this question.
Do we try to win now and keep Ray(and maybe even Lewis) or do we want to completely build around Durant?
If we do want to build around Durant, than we should be very active in this years draft, just like the Blazers were in last years.
I think guys like Allen, Ridnour and Wilcox could net us something really nice to build around Durant.
BTW: I don't see Charlotte trading Wallace for Lewis (maybe for Allen), but thats just me.
We don't want him.
Silvio, Charlotte may be the only team we WOULDN'T trade Rashard to, because they can sign him outright and don't need a S&T.
it's nice to think about all the possibilities, haven't been this optimistic in a long time. However, doesn't a team have to have a GM and maybe a coach to be making some of these decisions? I'm hearing names for all the other coaching vacancies out there, but supspiciously little here. Is Mr. Bennett awake late at night now, wondering how to make the situation at least as crappy as last year? Has anyone heard ANYTHING about possible coach or GM????
i heard a rumor about sam presti from the spurs being a potential GM candidate. that would be good
Darko is a young guy with tons of athleticism, skill, and potential. He also makes horrible decisions while he is on the court, fights with his coaches about playing a perimeter game, and gets many of his scoring opportunities when defenses collapse on Dwight Howard. 7 million dollars a year is too much for this kid. I would much rather put my money on Swift.
Seattle needs a tough, veteran center to fight for rebounds and mentor the kids.
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