2007 Seattle Supersonics Season Preview
This club, which last year was 31- 51, is in transition. During the off-season, Seattle has lost major talents, such as Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis while adding first-round, all-around second-pick guard/forward—Kevin Durant. They have some fine potential but a lot of it is unpolished.
With three centers, you’d think that Seattle was set to handle play around the rim. The problem is that none of the guys—Johan Petro (.516 FG%, .000 3P%, .649 FT%, 4.1 RPG, 0.6 APG, 6.2 PPG), Mouhamed Sene (.367 FG%, .000 3P%, .586 FT%, 1.6 RPG, 0.0 APG, 1.9 PPG) nor Robert Swift (injured did not play in 2006- 2007)—are NBA ready. Two power forwards, Chris Wilcox (.529 FG%, .000 3P%, .684 FT%, 7.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 13.5 PPG) and Nick Collison (.500 FG%, .000 3P%, .774 FT%, 8.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 9.6 PPG), will vie for the starting position. Durant looks to be a diamond in the rough at forward while Wally Szczerbiak (.415 FG%, .415 3P%, .897 FT%, 3.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 25.5 PPG) will give quality minutes off the bench.
There are a few players who can man the guard positions, including Luke Ridnour (.433 FG%, .353 3P%, .805 FT%, 2.3 RPG, 5.2 APG, 11.0 PPG), Earl Watson (.383 FG%, .329 3P%, .735 FT%, 2.4 RPG, 5.7 APG, 9.4 PPG) and Delonte West (.427 FG%, .365 3P%, .853 FT%, 3.0 RPG, 4.4 APG, 12.2 PPG). Ridnour looked good until he started his fourth season last year; then he seemed to take a step back. Watson ball handles well and plays tough defense but is not a great shot. West is a tough, hard-working player, who came over from Boston via the Allen trade. He should see some quality minutes.
This is a club of the future and the future is tied to very young talent. The Sonics will not contend this season. Expect a lot of growing pains as GM Sam Presti utilizes a long term plan to develop players and the team. Coach P.J. Carlesimo, in his first year with the club, has been hired to mentor and whip the young talents into shape. Hopefully, the normally impatient Sonics fans can take the long view too.