The Sonics stink. It’s okay to say it; we’re not exactly hurting any sacred cows by stating the obvious, right?
There’s plenty of talk about whether Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley would better help the Sonics, about which player would be the best fit via free agency, or whom Sam Presti should send packing this summer.
All of that is important to the future of the franchise (as is, of course, where the team will be playing, but we’re all a bit tired of that, right?). But part of the fun of being a Sonic fan – heck, all of the fun these days – is remembering the better days, when Shawn Kemp dunked, Gary Payton scowled, Tom Chambers gunned, and Gus Williams wizarded.
Which leads me to this, if you could pluck one player from Sonic history and transplant them to 2008, who would you grab? Would it be Payton and his non-stop talk and defense? Or would you rather see what Kemp and Durant could do in combination?
What about Spencer Haywood; he’d be a nice fit alongside Green and Durant, right? Don’t forget Jack Sikma’s scoring abilities as a big man, or DJ’s leadership as a combo guard, or Gus’ ability to score 30 points in any game. You can’t forget the X-Man, not if you’re a real fan, anyway, although the Sonics need another small forward about as much as they need out-of-state ownership.
Personally, I’m going with Payton without hesitation. You put vintage GP at the point, swing KD to the 3, use Green as a swingman between the 3 and 4, trade Earl/Ridnour/Wilcox to get a serviceable 2 in the summer and now you’ve got yourself a team.
Of course, you have to factor in Gary’s continuing desire to destroy the confidence of younger players, but I’m guessing he’d act a little different around a youngster such as Kevin Durant than he would around, say, Moochie Norris.
It’s ridiculous fantasy, I know, but when your team is on the verge of leaving for Oklahoma and entering the lottery in the same season, well, you don’t have much else, now do you?