Which players drafted by the Sonics had the most success, historically speaking? There are a number of ways to evaluate success, but the easiest is games played.
After all, the man who knows the best whether a player is contributing is the head coach. Well, except when that coach is PJ Carlesimo, but I digress.
So, herewith, the leader in games played at each position by Sonic-drafted players (with year drafted and total games played):
PG: Gary Payton (1990), 1335
SG: Dennis Johnson (1976), 1100
SF: Scottie Pippen (1987), 1178
PF: Shawn Kemp (1989), 1051
C: Jack Sikma (1977), 1107
And, yes, that small forward slot is still painful to look at. As a side note, that’s one hell of a team, and not in an all-star starter at every position kind of way. I mean in the sense that that group of five men would probably win a championship every season. You’ve got tenacious defense at four of the five slots, good shooters at all five spots, three great ball-handlers ... I mean, it’s almost a perfect team, right?
Best of all, how’d you like to be the point guard bringing the ball up against DJ and the Glove. How many violations for not getting the ball past the half-court line in time would those two create in a game – 5, 10, 30? Just a beautiful lineup.
Of course, you can’t have the good without the bad, so here’s a list of the worst starting lineup (and I use that term loosely) of Sonic draftees (I’m restricting this to first-round selections only):
PG: Frank Oleynick (1975), 102
SG: Bud Stallworth (1972), 313
SF: Sherell Ford (1995), 28
PF: Mo Sene (2006), 41
C: Rich King (1991), 72
Perhaps I’m being unfair to Mo Sene, inasmuch as he hasn’t been given much of a shot in the NBA thus far, and the guy is still in his early 20s. Still, if you’re headed to Las Vegas to place a bet on a player’s future, I’m guessing you’re not sinking $250 into the Mo Sene bet, now are you?