Kevin Durant will be a Sonic, or, if Kevin Pritchard has a heart attack next week and he’s relieved by a demon from 1984, Greg Oden will be a Sonic. Either way, we can all agree we’re as pleased as punch.
But what about the second round? I’ve heard numerous times that the Sonics will be dealing one or both of the picks they have, but will they? And what if they don’t? Here are some options for Seattle, and how they might fit in:
1. Petteri Koponen, Finland, PG, 6’5”
You know the old saying about Finnish point guards? You do? Well, can you email it to me, because I don't have the faintest idea about what the heck is going on over there. If the Sonics draft Koponen, do they give out Finlandia Vodka every time he gets 10 assists? Will this induce Ballard to declare war on the Sonics in historic respect for the Norway-Finland rivalry? It's all so hard to say.
Say this, though: Koponen is no Euro, he’s the real deal, at least in what limited exposure to North America he’s had. At 19, he’s still quite young and it’s possible he wouldn’t come to the States for another year or two, which would be great for the Sonics. He’s tough, a good outside shooter, handles the ball well, looks to create shots for others before himself, runs the pick and roll very well, and plays beyond his years. I haven’t read much about his defense, which scares me a bit since that’s the area the Sonics need help the most from a potential PG, and his slim frame is a cause for concern as well. I would have no problem with the Sonics going for Koponen and letting him develop overseas for a year.
2. Taurean Green, Florida, PG, 6’1”
Everyone knows Taurean from his play for the Gators. Since he led two teams to national titles, he’s got plenty of confidence. Then again, Chris Wilcox won a national title at Maryland, and he ain't exactly bursting with NBA playoff success. But his lack of size and defense worries me: Is he just another Luke Ridnour? If the Sonics were to draft Green, I’d be very concerned that they’d two guys in Frodo and Green that aren’t capable of defending tougher NBA point guards, something that caused trouble at times last year. I can see Green being a strong backup in the NBA, but not for Seattle. The big question is: Is Taurean Green the H Waldman of 2007?
3. Jared Dudley, Boston College, 6’7”, SF
If the Sonics draft Jared Dudley, then the past two months have been a mirage and Rick Sund is still running the team because they need another SF like Paris Hilton needs more press exposure. That’s too bad, though, as Dudley is a tough player who can rebound, works hard, hits his free throws, and does all the other things you need for a winning team. Unfortunately, the Sonics already have Gelabale, Wilkins, Durant, and Lewis.
4. Glen Davis, LSU, 6’8” PF/C
I don’t know about Davis. Part of me wants to think he could be effective in the league, that he won’t gain 60 pounds and become Danny Fortson redux, that he’ll parlay his unique athletic ability to score in the paint often. But another part of me thinks: Wait, his two biggest causes for success are his ample backside and the fact he played against 7' centers about as often as he said "no, thanks, I'm full" in college? He’s taken off the weight ("dropping" to around 280 or so if I remember correctly), but he’s still only 6’8”. How he fits into the Sonics’ plans is another difficult question to answer, as Collison and Wilcox already gobble up the PF minutes. If he’s available at the 2nd pick, he wouldn’t be a terrible selection.
5. Morris Almond, Rice, 6’6”
Now this is what the doctor ordered ... almost. Almond can score, gets to the line like a young Adrian Dantley, and is built to be an NBA 2 guard. He’s 6’6” and strong, and would make an ideal fit for Ray Allen’s caddy for the next couple of years ... except that his defense is the weakest part of his game, and he’s not going to learn how to do it from Sugar Ray. They say you can teach defense, and that shooting is like a gift, but why hasn’t anyone ever taught Allen how to be a tougher defender? I think it’s a mindset, and if Almond doesn’t have it yet, he’s probably not going to get it in the NBA. That said, Almond would be a decent fit off the bench for the Sonics if he’s still available.
I'll have more during next week as we get closer to the big day.