Thursday, February 21

Your Seattle SuperSonics

So, two deals in two days have certainly altered the Sonics' roster. Here's your current group:

Johan Petro
Robert Swift
Francsico Elson
Mo Sene

Nick Collison
Chris Wilcox
Donyell Marshall

Jeff Green
Damien Wilkins
Mickael Gelabale
Ira Newble

Kevin Durant
Adrian Griffin

Earl Watson
Luke Ridnour
Brent Barry

And, effective this summer, your roster:

Petro (1.9)
Sene (2.2)

Collison (6.3)
Wilcox (6.7)
Marshall (5.9)

Green (3.3)
Wilkins (3.1)

Kevin Durant (4.4)

Luke Ridnour (6.5)
Earl Watson (6.2)

By my math, the Sonics have $46.5 million committed to next year's budget, plus the money they would spend on draft picks. Assuming the Sonics package their lower first-round pick with their own pick, they'll be able to get someone at or near the top of the draft (oh, I don't know, Derrick Rose?).

Let the free agent speculation begin.


Anonymous said...

I've read conflicting things about Griffin's deal - is his contract next year guaranteed, or is an option deal?

Ben Q. Rock said...

Petro (1.9)
Sene (2.2)"

At first, I thought those were their scoring averages.

Anonymous said...

According to most of what I read, Griffin's deal is guaranteed next year. says it is guaranteed.

However, (that's the site I like the most for salary info), says it is not guaranteed. At this point, I guess I'd have to lean towards it being guaranteed, but I'm not 100% sure.

Seattle40 said...

Well, at least we can now make a run at LeBron with all the free cap space in... like 2010. And we couldn't have traded Watson instead of West?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about swapping West for Watson (for one thing, Watson's better, for another, the contracts wouldn't have worked), but I'm with you about this being a lousy trade.

You've got two decent, respected assets in Wally and West. Wally is overpaid, but 1) his contract expires next year and 2) he's an above-average player offensively. West is still a decent player, despite the fact the Sonics couldn't figure out how to use him.

And all we get is a bunch of guys who are useless to our future? Marshall? Newble? Griffin?

Basically, we dealt away 2/5 of Cleveland's future starting lineup for absolutely nothing but cap space. Color me less than enthused about this move. Hope Presti is getting profit-sharing from his buddy Clay.

wishhiker said...

West looked really good when he was taking care of the ball, scrapping for loose balls (and in general) or on a hot scoring streak. He showed pretty well that he can't take care of the ball in more than short spurts and I don't see why people still see him as a PG. As a future piece for a team that now has 6 First-Rounders in the next 3 years, and who's biggest need is to upgrade at PG I don't see how West is such a big loss. My thought was that he could still be a good SG but maybe the team plans on keeping KD there through next year as well.

Your complaint is that the team got back pieces that are useless to the future? Wally Szczerbiak was not?

Let me break this down as to what the Sonics should be looking to accrue.

There are 3 young Centers that have promise already on the team (would have said 2 a month ago)

PF is a logjam and Green is considered the likely heir to the position.

SF is also crowded and includes Green presently with Durant considered the likely heir.

That leaves the guard positions wide open. The best anyone can say is that Durant may stick at SG and Ridnour may still put it together at PG.

The team needs guards more than anything else and decided that West was not the answer. I agree with them. If they keep both 1st-round picks they are likely to both be Guards. Those guards will need playing time to develop.

They got back the same non-answers they had + salary relief. None of those players are the long-term answers. Presti is obviously already starting to shape the roster for next year, none of us knows what he's seeing. I have liked the moves he's made so far though this is mostly a lateral move. I see the extra flexibility to trade a PF away(having Marshall makes it much easier to part with Wilcox who has good trade value) and some cap space both added, while (at worst) the competitiveness of the team for the rest of this year and next year was negatively affected. Presti's not done with trades before the 08-09 season, this is just the beginning.

They're not going anywhere right now anyway and the future does look a little better with these moves.

Anonymous said...

Cute. Call it cap space if you want. That's not the game plan, and everyone knows it. Anyone know of a more dramatic example of an owner stripping down a roster of any major sport franchise? Ever? It's stunning, disgusting, and points in two directions: down and out. Adios, boys, see you in OKC (where the living is cheap and so will the basketball team)...

Anonymous said...

Florida Marlins. Twice.

Not trying to be difficult, but this isn't the first time this has happened.

As to cap flexibility, I don't see how this really gives us that more flexibility. Considering that we're adding two first round picks this June, we're almost at the cap already. Then, next summer, with the increase in everyone's salary and the extra picks, we're up against again.

Plus, I sincerely doubt Bennett will push Presti to add any pieces this summer, which means this whole process is about saving Bennett money in the short-term, and very little to do anything in the long-term.

I hope I am proven wrong.


Anonymous said...

I love these last two deals for the Sonics. We are piling up draft picks, and clearing cap-room.

Here is the list of potential 2008 FAs:

Gilbert Arenas, Corey Maggette, Ron Artest, Elton Brand, Shawn Marion, Jermaine O'Neal, Allen Iverson, Baron Davis, Emeka Okafor, Luol Deng, Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala, Ben Gordon, Antawn Jamison, Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, Josh Childress, Nenad Kristic, Andris Biedrins, Chris Duhon, Gerald Green, Daniel Gibson...

What if Seattle lands a Derrick Rose, or Brook Lopez, or Jerryd Bayless in the draft with our lottery pick? And then with our late 1st maybe a DJ Augustine or Andrew Ogilvy? And with our early 2nd, maybe a Kyle Weaver?

Plus, with all that cash, is it possible we could sign a Gilbert Arenas? Or a Baron Davis? Maybe a defensive center like Okafor?

It is going to be a really excited off-season again for the Sonics organization.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the glass quite as full as you, Pat. Here's how I see the summer unfolding:

1. Sonics and the City of Seattle spend June/July in court, wherein all sorts of disgusting details about the league/team come out.

2. Judge finds in favor of the city, Sonics are forced to spend the next two years in Seattle as they wait to finish their lease.

Now, those two items in mind, how willing is Clay Bennett going to be to pick up a big-ticket FA this summer? I'm guessing it's somewhere south of his willingness to buy a season pass to the Seattle Ballet.

Dependent on how the sonics do in the lottery, I'm guessing Presti combines the two picks into one, getting the Sonics closer to the top of the draft.

Either way, the Sonics are going to be long on rookies and short on experience next year, which equals yet another <30 win season.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the glass quite as full as you, Pat. Here's how I see the summer unfolding:

1. Sonics and the City of Seattle spend June/July in court, wherein all sorts of disgusting details about the league come out.

2. Judge finds in favor of the city, Sonics are forced to spend the next two years in Seattle as they wait to finish their lease.

Now, those two items in mind, how willing is Clay Bennett going to be to pick up a big-ticket FA this summer? I'm guessing it's somewhere south of his willingness to buy a season pass to the Seattle Ballet.

Anonymous said...

uhm, aren't we highly likely to be quite near the top of the draft already? Why do we need to 2 for 1 to move up when we're already top 3 right now anyway?

This seems like a year where there aren't 2 clear cut "1-2" guys, so why not have the 3rd pick and keep the draft pick or package it for something in a future year.

Of course, I say "we" quite halfheartedly these days. Heard our future point guard Chris Paul tore up Jason Kidd.

Oh, excuse me. Seattle is losing their team and will never have another. I meant Kansas City's Chris Paul. Or was it Vegas? Oops, my bad. I MEANT London or Madrid or Moscow.

David Stern can blow us all like a seasoned pro if he thinks NBA Hoops will work in Europe with the public building the NBA arena for the rich american owners.

Jesus... my hatred is so deep now I fall off topic on the drop of a dime... ugh.

wishhiker said...

I have to agree with you about the cap space likely being meaningless. Your points are spot on, but there is possibility that it plays out differently. Just not much.

I'm going to remain positive on the chances of my favorite NBA team remaining in the city it started in so long ago until it's official. If the NBA lets a new owner choose for it to be done with Seattle I will be done with the NBA. Until then I will remain hopeful that things can work out for the team to remain.

With Kurt Thomas, Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak they have won 27% of their games, so it's not like they're tearing apart a dynasty. It's a crappy team. It needs lots of tweaking as well as growth from the young players.

The Sonics have the 3rd worst record so they have a really good shot at not needing to trade up. If it ended right now they might have the 3rd pick, but they also might have the 7th or the 1st. These trades make the team less competitive now and free up playing time for more of the younger players. I've been talking with a friend that's convinced they're tanking it to get better picks next year and they are in position to do so but there's not much farther to dive.

The clearcut 1-2 I've been seeing, reading and hearing are Beasley and Rose, with Beasley being the Odom who everyone has in the 1st slot though some speculate that Rose could get taken there. I'd guess that most of the people here want to see Rose IN SEATTLE for most of a couple decades with Durant and Green. After Rose there isn't a PG I like for using a lotto pick on and PG is the position the team needs. 'Rose or whatever we have to trade to get him' is the plan most of the people I've talked to say the SS's should have at draft time. He is the reason they might have to trade up. If the balls land right for them anyway and they get Rose without having to trade up the other 1st round pick will likely be a SG unless they trade it away anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm on board with what wishiker says. We're not breaking up the 90s Bulls here, this is a crappy team. Wally, West, Thomas, Marshall, Griffin, etc ... none of those guys are going to be around when this team gets good. Really, outside of Green and Durant, who is in this team's future? Collison I guess, and maybe Swift, depending on the 2nd half of the season, but that's about it. The fact is, Presti was able to save the team some money without having too much of an affect on the quality of the roster.

Man, he better hope Green pans out, though, or else he gave away Ray Allen for a bucket of crapola.

Anonymous said...

You Tell'em Charles!!!

bigyaz said...

"for one thing, Watson's better, for another, the contracts wouldn't have worked"

Watson's better? *Maybe* at this moment, but he's as good as he's going to get, and West has far more upside. Not a true point guard (then, neither is Watson), but a far better athlete.

I'm betting the Bulls would never have taken Watson over West.

C'mon, folks. You weren't going to get a whole lot for any of these guys at this point, so get what you can, unload salary and build with draft picks and cap space. That's the reality of today's NBA.

Seattle40 said...

My thinking was that the Sonics are hoping for Durant to fit into the SG guard role (and hopefully build some muscle) with Green inheriting the SF spot. I love Ridnour, and if he could reproduce his stats from two years ago it would be nice. I think all of our centers are worthless, Petro could be a backup but Swift hasn't shown us anything because of injury, I see him being cut at the end of this year.

As for the draft, I hope we get Rose.

Çetin Cem said...

i think we will all be sad, when watching szczerbiak making the final three-point shot after getting the ball when lebron gets triple-teamed.. in the east conference finals, or something like that.

yes, he was not someone to build the squad on, but it was nice to have him anyway.

i understand that wally was waaay too much over-paid and now we have space. but i had hopes for west. he was bright, young and i still remember his plays when he exploded, when he was in boston.

now we have our cap. let's think of it for a minute. will sam be allowed to deal big money to land some big names? or, will those big names will opt to come to an unsettled nba team? i'm not sure about that.

well, let's look positive. i am happy that nick collison will get more minutes. and maybe, swift will turn to the player we always hoped that he would develop someday. and ridnour is on the starting five. and, green doesn't disappoint us.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, we really could use a good shooter to help Durant grow and teach him *cough ray Allen*. Im not bashing the trade last draft, i actually liked that we're trying to get younger, however it's not helping by having Durant fire up endless shots with a low fg%. I would've loved to see the sonics go after an older shooter who could help mentor KD (yeah, i know, dream dream dream)

On another note, most of the FA point guards next year look like shoot first guys. Baron Davis, Gilbert Arenas, etc. etc. and im sure Clayton doesn't want to spend any of his precious money. I would look for them to go for Chris Duhon or someone they may get for cheaper than a PG who can score.

That being said, i'd still love for them to go after a guard who could fill it up.

wishhiker said...

Older shooter? Didn't the team just waive Brent Barry? I thought he made sense for that. Szczerbiak and others have shown him how much work it takes to keep your shot going down and improve any aspect of your game. What it takes is a lot of practicing your shot. He already knows that. This is a team with a lot of gym rats on it. There are quite a few young veterans that picked up work ethic ideas from Allen about how much practice it takes to have a good shot (shooting percentage.)

It may also be that Gelebale and Sene are ready to play more NBA minutes that made these trades make sense to the team. A player improving toward their ceiling is a better use of minutes than spending them on Szczerbiak in a season like this. Another 1st rounder always helps too. I liked watching Szczerbiak play for the team too, but I see plenty of reasons to make these moves. It just seems to me that the team decided Ridnour and Watson were better to stick with going into the offseason than West. If they were just trying to unload money one of them would be gone as well as one of Wilcox/Collison. I don't see this as a fire sale at all.

wishhiker said...

I try to avoid predicting what a team will do, but if I had this roster I think I would plan on playing Petro and Sene next year at center and generally getting minutes to the young players to try developing talent first. Going from a 20-30 win team to the playoffs in one year is a pretty big adjustment. Though I think it could be done I also think that in the long term if the team can get more improvement from the young players who have recently shown much of what we've been looking for it's better for the franchise. I would try to build a competitive team without worrying about what fans might think because no matter the situation it seems fans disapprove of nearly any move a team makes.

Looking for any way that the team could be slighting the fan-base is a bit defensive and supplants the truth with supposition of any puzzle piece you can squeeze into it. These moves make sense on a basketball level and don't even remotely look like a team selling off veterans from their core. None of these guys were Sonics 1 year ago and they apparently didn't fit into plans for a year from now.

It's possible that Presti will bring in a good FA or 2, but with the youth presently on the team and the picks before free-agency starts I don't see where they'd fit.

Back to the list of players for next year:

C: Petro, Sene

PF: Collison, Wilcox, Marshall

SF: Green, Gelebale, Wilkins

SG: Durant, Griffin, (Draft Pick)

PG: Ridnour, Watson, (Draft Pick)

1st Round Picks: 2
2nd Round Picks: 4

Picking up a FA center or re-signing Swift seems doable. I still really like Swift and enjoyed watching him scare the crap out of opponents in his brief time on the court this year. He has so much potential if he can strengthen his lower body enough to carry the weight he added to his upper body and keep injuries away. I can't see giving up on him at the age of 21.

Trading away a PF (Wilcox/Collison), a PG (Ridnour/Watson) a SG (Gelebale/Wilkins) and even a C (Petro/Sene/Swift:sign-&-trade)are all possibilities going into the offseason.

I would attempt to trade Wilkins, Wilcox and Watson because those W's haven't translated into W's. just a play on words,I really think that those players are closer to their ceilings than the others at their respective positions.

The Sonics have 2 first round and 4 second round picks this year. 6 Picks. Some of those may be traded away, but my thinking is they'll end up with at least 3 picks and have 12 players under contract for next year presently.

Round 1 Pick (Sonics)
Round 1 Pick (from Phoenix) (fully unprotected)
Round 2 Pick (Sonics)
Round 2 Pick (from Boston OR Portland, whichever is higher)
Round 2 Pick (from Denver)
Round 2 Pick (from Houston)

They could even end up going with trading players away for more future picks and supplementing the team with those 6 picks. Why not? If Rose could be taken without trading other picks to move up and enough other players are falling to you like you want them to that's enough to get one pick for each position plus one to send to the D-League.

C: Petro, Sene, (Draft Pick)

PF: Collison, Marshall, (Draft Pick)

SF: Green, Gelebale, (Draft Pick)

SG: Durant, Griffin, (Draft Pick)

PG: Ridnour, (Rose? Draft Pick), FA or traded for Swing-Guard

Those 6 draft picks (presently @ #3,#27,#33,#46,#51,#52) give Presti a ton of flexibility with how he wants to build the team. If you think that too many draft picks bust then why not keep them all with the thought that Presti can find some late gems and give better chance that the 2008 draft won't be a bust for the Sonics. There are so many options on how to move forward that make sense.

If the ownership wasn't talking about relocation I think a lot more of us would be happy with the moves Presti has made because his resume fits drafting much more than acquiring FA's. I think the best way for him to build a roster is by drafting the players of the future, but he's done pretty well in trades thus far, in my opinion.

Let's hope Presti does well with the picks and roster construction while a solution is agreed upon to where in Washington the Sonics will be playing in 2010 and beyond.