Friday, June 27

And Then There Was 1

As you might recall, Sam Presti dealt away two second-round picks from last year's draft. Those picks turned out to be Glen Davis and Carl Landry, both strong contributors to their teams.

Yesterday, the Sonics began the day with four (!) picks in the second round of the NBA draft. Of those four picks, the Sonics did the following:

#32 - traded to Detroit for #29 pick
#46 - traded to Detroit for #29 pick
#50 - DeVon Hardin, not traded
#56 - traded to Cleveland for cash

All of which means, in the past two seasons Presti has had six second-round picks available to him, and, of those six, he has traded away five, receiving in exchange a future second-rounder, an end of the first-rounder, cash, and Jeff Green's left arm (an approximation of what the pick's value in the Ray Allen trade).

And so, to close the book on last year's draft-day dealings and put an end to my extended ramblings, the Seattle Sonics essentially traded Carl Landry for half of DJ White. Not exactly a sweet flip.

35 comments:

Bob said...

My 2 cents :

I don't see any issue with what Presti has done in the second round this year.

The Hardin pick is good IMO, if he knew that White would be gone at 32th sending the 46th to be sure to get him at 29th he made a good decision (if White is at least decent of course, but I like the pick)
Selling a guy with little chance to play in the NBA with Kaun doesn't really disturb me.

Last year was way more questionnable.
I guess Davis was needed in the Ray Allen trade, if you really feel that the trade is good for you I don't see how including a 32th pick could be a deal killer. Was the trade good ? Too early to tell but sending Wally and West for nothing sure made it worse.
I still trust in Green though.

The Landry trade is terrible on paper. My theory is that we didn't have room for another rookie after a 1 for 3 trade especially with Presti needing flexibility to handle the Rashard Lewis situation.

Michael said...

I won't complain too much about Westbrook ... He is obviously the guy that the team wanted ... maybe a little reach at #4, but hey if they tried to move down and there were no takers, what can you do.

I am a little disappointed though, knowing that we could have had Russell Westbrook, Darrell Arthur, and Chris Douglas Roberts today ...

Anonymous said...

Moan, moan, moan. At least Robert Swift is coming back.

AK1984 said...

The draft rights of DeVon Hardin might as well be dealt for cash considerations, since the Sonics should tender Robert Swift with a one-year, $3,579,131 qualifying offer and give him one last chance.

I'm still upset that the 24th pick was used on Serge Ibaka instead of Chris Douglas-Roberts, but there's no use in continuing to stew about it. It's hard to justify in my mind, though.

Crow said...

KJR says the Sonics did tender Swift.

AK1984 said...

At this juncture, here's my quick-'n'-dirty, off-the-wall plan for the Seattle SuperSonics this off-season.

Before 7/12008:

1. Non-tender Mickael Gelabale, which'd thereby make him an unrestricted free-agent.

2. Renounce Francisco Elson's Bird rights, which'd get rid of the team's cap hold on him.

3. Waive Adrian Griffin, whose salary isn't fully guaranteed next season.

After 7/9/2008:

4. Unless Robert Swift is offered a long-term contract from another team -- in which case he can go elsewhere -- wait for him to sign the one-year, $3,579,131 qualifying offer.

5. Sign Russell Westbrook and D.J. White to their rookie scale contracts, while stashing Serge Ibaka overseas.

6. Trade Luke Ridnour ($6,500,000), Damien Wilkins ($3,100,000), and the draft rights of DeVon Hardin to the New York Knicks for Malik Rose ($7,647,500) and Renaldo Balkman ($1,369,920).

7. Trade Chris Wilcox ($6,750,000) to the Indiana Pacers for Jeff Foster ($5,500,000), Stephen Graham ($826,269), and $3,000,000 in cash considerations.

8. Sign unrestricted free-agent Roger Mason to a two-year, $3,972,800 contract (2008-2009: $1,910,000 & 2009-2010: $2,062,800) with the bi-annual exception.

9. Sign Mike Wilks to a one-year, minimum-level contract.

10. Decline Mouhamed Sene's team option for the 2009-2010 season, then subsequently release him.

11. Excercise Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and Balkman's team options for the 2009-2010 season.

ROSTER
C: Jeff Foster (24 m.p.g.)
C: Johan Petro (24 m.p.g.)
C: Robert Swift (0 m.p.g.)
PF: Nick Collison (32 m.p.g.)
PF: D.J. White (16 m.p.g.)
PF: Malik Rose (Inactive)
SF: Jeff Green (28 m.p.g.)
SF: Renaldo Balkman (12 m.p.g.)
SF: Donyell Marshall (Inactive)
SG: Kevin Durant (40 m.p.g.)
SG: Roger Mason (16 m.p.g.)
SG: Stephen Graham (0 m.p.g.)
PG: Earl Watson (24 m.p.g.)
PG: Russell Westbrook (24 m.p.g.)
PG: Mike Wilks (Inactive)

FIRST & THIRD QUARTERS

6 MINUTES
Jeff Foster
Nick Collison
Jeff Green
Kevin Durant
Earl Watson

2 MINUTES
Johan Petro
Nick Collison
Jeff Green
Kevin Durant
Russell Westbrook

4 MINUTES
Johan Petro
D.J. White
Kevin Durant
Roger Mason
Russell Westbrook

SECOND & FOURTH QUARTERS

4 MINUTES
Jeff Foster
D.J. White
Renaldo Balkman
Roger Mason
Earl Watson

2 MINUTES
Jeff Foster
Nick Collison
Renaldo Balkman
Kevin Durant
Earl Watson

6 MINUTES
Johan Petro
Nick Collison
Jeff Green
Kevin Durant
Russell Westbrook

That's a 10 to 20 win team there, which'd accomplish the goal of further draining fan interest -- so long as the franchise stays in Seattle -- and obtaining a high-end pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. It's a plausible, yet hideously damning approach.

Anyhow, regardless of where this organization ends up next season, it's a fucking shitty operation from top to bottom. In fact, there currently isn't a more poorly run franchise in the NBA.

Anonymous said...

As always, hindsight is 20/20

akismyhomie said...

Presti obviously wanted a pg and pf in this draft. Instead of Westbrook/White why not the infinitely better idea of Love/Chalmers?

Am I missing something?

Crow said...

I'd think the Wiz try to retain local guy Mason and I'd think they'd do 2 years $4 million or better to accomplish it.

But there are bigger fish to fry first.

I'd think A Daniels might be available to a playoff team for youth / expiring / draft consideration.

Crow said...

Long way to November and knowing the final roster list.

24 minutes a game for Westbrook sounds like a good target.

AK1984 said...

With the bi-annual exception, other veteran free-agents who could fill the void at reserve shooting guard include Maurice Evans, Gordan Giricek, Quinton Ross, Fred Jones, Keyon Dooling, Juan Dixon, Devin Brown, Eddie House, Kareem Rush, and Ronald "Flip" Murray -- well, uh, just forget I mentioned him -- also, a cheaper option would be to bring in an undrafted free-agent (e.g., Bryce Taylor, Richard Roby, et al.) as a short-term stopgap next season.

In the interim, I prefer the latter option. At this point in time, it's not worth spending excess money on the payroll.

Chris Douglas-Roberts and Shan Foster should've been drafted in lieu of Serge Ibaka and DeVon Hardin, respectively, for this entire topic wouldn't be an issue in that case.

AK1984 said...

Regarding Chris Wilcox, it's probably best to let him play out this season -- even though I posted an earlier trade proposal centered around the guy -- and, in turn, wait for his contract to come off of the books after this upcoming season. A starting frontline of Wilcox and Nick Collison is definitely a substandard duo, but at least they're familiar with each other.

Anyhow, the only type of player the Seattle SuperSonics need to round out its roster for another season of tanking is a three-point shooting specialist. That, along with trading Luke Ridnour elsewhere (e.g., the New York Knicks) for someone who's got an expiring contract (e.g., Malik Rose), is just fine-tuning in the meantime.

After researching all of the unrestricted free-agent shooting guards available this off-season, Maurice Evans -- who, despite his second-rate defense and mediocre handles, can drain it from beyond the rock at nearly a 40% clip -- is possibly the most cost-efficient acquisition currently on the market.

All in all, the Sonics have been terribly constructed and are still in the midst of dismantling the roster. I know Presti has bitched about not skipping steps, but that seems like a bullshit excuse to me. It's time to gut this bastard, tank another season, and beging the upswing come next summer.

Crow said...

Yeah Mo Evans shoots well. Might be a little old for Presti as he will turn 30 in November but he had about his best season. On the plus side he helps fairly well for a guard on offensive glass and is low turnovers.

I assumed he will get more minutes or more money or more wins somewhere else but he'd be ok if they got him.

Crow said...

Wilcox-Foster might fit basketball-wise with what they are doing (playing fast, drafting centers) but Wilcox's arrest does not help that proposition.

AK1984 said...

Maurice Evans would be brought in for just two seasons under my proposal, so his age doesn't worry me; however, you're right that he's more likely to sign on as a backup with some winning team. The same goes for many other free-agents.

The more I observe everything, it seems that Chris Wilcox will finish out his contract here. Once Wilcox and the Seattle SuperSonics are done with each other, it'll pretty much be a sunk cost. I guess that it was a chance worth taking, though.

Crow said...

Sure, some roleplayers come and go, not everyone is core.

You might be right on Wilcox. He should bring multiple offers so Presti can be picky / patient if he wants and live with playing it out or even going to sign n trade.

Ridnour (or Watson) might bring more at trade deadline (for a team really in need) or next summer as an expiring contract. Both unlikely to be here Nov. 2009 but they might both make it thru this next season.

Ridnour might get 10-16 minutes per game in first month and see how it goes.

I wonder if D'Antoni would go for Luke. That would be a pressure situation for all. Maybe Mike can make it easy, I don't know how much magic follows him to NY. Balkman sure can't shoot the J yet. It looks like his defense slipped this past season. Biggest contribution is rebounding.

Crow said...

If there isn't a PG trade, I'd guess Westbrook gets half or more of the backup SG minutes (in addition to time at PG. The rest probably just get used by Wilkins.

AK1984 said...

Because this thread is about DeVon Hardin, I'd like to cement my viewpoint that he's a clone of scrubs like Jamal Sampson, Randolph Morris, et al.

Yeah, I've got no expectations for Hardin.

Crow said...

This article also projects Hardin as a journeyman
http://www.hoopsanalyst.com/0708ew20.htm

but I see that his rebounding is above the average of similarly experienced in college guys who became starters/ regular rotation guys.

A decent 50th pick. I think / hope.

AK1984 said...

After reading that article, there was a huge increase in my underlying fear that Brook Lopez might be a cross between Chris Mihm and Darko Milicic.

Mihm, who's mentioned as a guy with a weak field-goal percentage during his time at college, has always had issues with being soft and playing more like a power forward rather than a true center. Milicic has that very same problem, too.

I, however, take solace in Brook Lopez's supremacy as a man-to-man interior defender -- especially since neither Mihm nor Milicic fit that description -- nonetheless, his inefficient field-goal shooting and subpar weakside help defense.

Hell, Lopez's mediocre rate of blocks and rebounds puts him in the same category as Matt Geiger -- who, รก la Mihm and Milicic, was more of a 4 than a 5 on offense -- which is another cringeworthy comparison. That's not as scary as Lopez's remarkable similarity to Sam Bowie, though, who's one of the biggest busts in NBA history.

Yet, that notwithstanding, I'd still think that Sam Presti should've selected Lopez instead of Russell Westbrook. It'd've been more bang for the Sonics' buck.

Anonymous said...

You all bitch a lot. Let the man (Presti) work and give him a few years before you are too harsh. ESPN.com gave Seattle an A- on their draft. I know it's early, but I'm liking the future. Rebuilding is a s...l...o...w process.

AK1984 said...

Across the Sonic blogosphere, there's still fools who are perpetually defending the deified Luke Ridnour.

Regardless of whether or not the sickening lovefest surrounding Ridnour is due to him being a local product from the Pacific Northwest -- or, perhaps, a matter of him being an undersized white guy who's easily relatable to fellow pasty folks -- his cultish fan(atic)s are brainwashed fools. It's hard for me to fathom such fatuous groupthink, but I can't deny its unholy existence.

At this point, I'm waiting for Ridnour's departure via trade to finally come and end this bullshit.

"You all bitch a lot. Let the man (Presti) work and give him a few years before you are too harsh. ESPN.com gave Seattle an A- on their draft. I know it's early, but I'm liking the future. Rebuilding is a s...l...o...w process."

My problem with Sam Presti is twofold.

For starters, Presti is taking forever to gut the goddamn roster. Instead of quickly dismantling the ballclub during his first year on the job, the Sonics are on pace for another shitty season due to complacency.

Secondly, his overvaluing of Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook scares me. Green and Westbrook appear to be role players coming off of the bench on a championship contender, which isn't enough to justifying using top-five picks for each of them.

We'll see who's right in the long run, though.

anonymous #12 said...

Regardless of whether or not the sickening lovefest surrounding Ridnour is due to him being a local product from the Pacific Northwest -- or, perhaps, a matter of him being an undersized white guy who's easily relatable to fellow pasty folks -- his cultish fan(atic)s are brainwashed fools. It's hard for me to fathom such fatuous groupthink, but I can't deny its unholy existence.

LOL, there's also the holy. A group in one particular forum thinks Ridnour should be supported due to him being a good christian.

At this point, I'm waiting for Ridnour's departure via trade to finally come and end this bullshit.

Ditto. BYC status ends tomorrow. Hopefully Ridnour is traded by the end of the day. I have a feeling his trade has been arranged for the past several months.

Sammy said...

I thoroughly agree with you, Steve, concerning the West/Wally flip... I am an Emerson alum, so its sort of sad to hear the first Emerson-bred NBA GM getting off to a rough start. But, he certainly is... I don't think you can give him any credit for Green and Durant, they fell into his laps... And hes certainly botched some moves since then...

I linked to you in my blog... latenightsportsetin.blogspot.com ... Great stuff on your draft analysis. Of course, there aren't a lot of places to get Sonics basketball talk.

One question for you. Is the SEA media giving Presti a pass, focusing more on the Bennett situation?

AK1984 said...

"Ditto. BYC status ends tomorrow. Hopefully Ridnour is traded by the end of the day. I have a feeling his trade has been arranged for the past several months." {D.T.}

I'd even be satisfied with a straight-up trade whereby Luke Ridnour is dealt to the New York Knicks for Malik Rose. If nothing else, it'd be hilariously depressing to have washed-up, over-the-hill has-beens in Rose and Donyell Marshall as the Sonics' over(paid/weight) third-string forwards.

Meanwhile, though, it's practical for the Sonics to keep Chris Wilcox through at least part of next season. Wilcox's trade value is probably pretty low right now, while he's also the best option to pair alongside Nick Collison down low in the meantime. Besides, Wilcox is bound to work harder during his contract year.

Lastly, Earl Watson should be dealt no sooner than next year's trade deadline. For the time being, Watson can teach Russell Westbrook the ropes. Yet, once the Sonics have flatlined by February, he can be traded to a contender (e.g., Houston Rockets) for someone who's got an expiring contract (e.g., Bobby Jackson).

Dave said...

I really dislike the Russell Westbrook draft. I don't see it at all. Very bad pick in my opinion. Because I dislike the pick so strongly it ruins the whole draft for me.

Is Presti trying to keep the team in 20 win range so he stockpile picks?

To be honest that question was my only thought throughout the first round and especially when Westbrook's name was called.

The DJ White pickup was fantastic. The player he reminds me most of in the NBA is a post-injury Antonio McDyess. He's going to be a very solid role playing big man for a long time. He hits the glass hard, good defensively, good offensively. Just a solid player. Kevin Durant is going to like working with him.

The Ibaka pick is all long term potential and I'm content with that pick.

Devon Hardin at 50 was nice. He probably won't be anything more than a 10mpg player if the situation works out well but ... good value at 50.

AK1984 said...

Regarding the pending free-agent market, I expect the Los Angeles Clippers to package Elton Brand and Corey Maggette in a dual sign-'n'-trade deal to the Miami Heat for Shawn Marion and Udonis Haslem.

Pat Reily has always sported wood for Brand, whose strength on the low block would allow Michael Beasley to be a well-balanced inside/outside scorer. The Heat, however, would be stuck with the soft, overpaid Mark Blount at center.

Another possible sign-'n'-trade destination for Maggette could be the Orlando Magic, which'd have to part with a couple of players (e.g., Tony Battie & Keith Bogans or J.J. Redick) to acquire his services.

Maggette's slashing and defense would definitely mesh well alongside the sharp-shooting Hidayet Turkoglu at the wing positions. The Magic would be a legitimate threat with an upgrade there, too.

The Clippers could also renounce Brand and Maggette's Bird rights and go without any compensation for them, which'd give the franchise enough cap space to sign a top-notch point guard (e.g., Baron Davis) to pair with rookie Eric Gordan. Donald Sterling may also do that solely to cut payroll.

Anyhow, apropos of Davis, I'd like to see him force a sign-'n'-trade with the Golden State Warriors wherein he's dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers for, oh, Lamar Odom and Jordan Farmar. A backcourt of Kobe Bryant and Davis would rival any other guard duo across the NBA.

Now, if Brand lost his Bird rights, then he'd have to sign with a team under that's way under the salary cap like the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers would need dump some salary, though, with Willie Green being a moveable asset to some team with a trade exception.

Furthermore, Maggette would have to settle for the mid-level exception. Even at that slightly reduced price, the Magic would still be a good spot for him. Another potential landing point for Maggette is the New Orleans Hornets; however, George Shinn is too cheap of a bastard to do it.

Anonymous said...

I think the media has been kinda soft on Presti but in the end he'll get what he deserves. Praise if he builds a good team eventually, though whether it takes 3 years or 6 or something in between is relevant to judging how good he is. If they don't get out of first round of playoffs in 6 years it will be hard to be impressed by that. No matter what they do on the court he choose to work for Bennett during the attempted hijacking.

Dave said...

Huh that's weird. By comment posted (6/30 8:36) under a different name and my name came up on a different comment (6/30 8.43).

Anyway ... I agree with the sentiment of Presti's slow progress and odd draft choices with Westbrook and Green.

What are the early expectations on Westbrook? Think he can beat out Watson/Ridnour for the starting spot as a rookie?

I don't think he can beat out those two but it might be handed to him anyway in order to aid his development

AK1984 said...

Mickael Gelabale wasn't tendered a qualifying offer, so he's done here.

Crow said...

Somewhat ironic that the guy with nearly the best team defense on the court among rotation regulars gets cast off amidst the talk about being a defense first team. Yeah he was injured and not assertive enough but I wonder if he goes on to better things down the line.

By the numbers he was a fine SF defender but better at SG on offense.

Good luck with your recovery / basketball future Gelly.

Crow said...

Gelabale played among his best with Durant and Green but Durant played about his worst with Gelabale and that probably hurt Gelabale's chances of returning, given how important it is to try to make him look good. Presti didn't pick Gelabale and that may be a factor too.

I think he was and could have continued to be a decent bench piece.

Crow said...

Gelabale's highest on team win % on the court certainly doesn't fit with tanking. As with the previous best win % player Wally. Word to the wise- don't be a winning wing or get in the way of Presti's Durant / Green design regardless of its track record to date of losing by the equivalent of 15 points a game.

Crow said...

Durant SG / Green SF was nearly the worst pair of all player pairs on the team but that is the foundation because Presti conceived to be or conceived it to be for right now, to tank.

Maybe it changes. But I think the results are more likely to change when Durant goes to SF and Green goes to the bench.

Anonymous said...

Presti picked Green. Could have had Thaddeus Young. Starting out far superior to Green on offense and defense.