More bad news for Sonics
Well, there goes hope that this summer could be more than a litigious disaster. The Sonics, lousy as they were this past season, weren't...
Seattle Times staff columnist
Well, there goes hope that this summer could be more than a litigious disaster.
The Sonics, lousy as they were this past season, weren't rewarded Tuesday for achieving the worst record in franchise history. During the NBA draft lottery, the Golden Ping-Pong Ball went to Chicago, and Miami — the only team to out-bad Seattle — secured the equally coveted No. 2 pick.
The Sonics will select fourth, which means we might as well rummage through the Oklahoma Raiders' e-mails again to scrounge up intrigue.
It was another night to cringe at this abnormal situation. The Sonics stood a 19.9 percent chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick, the second-best odds in the field, but there was no official draft party here. It's further proof that the Sonics have mentally checked out of Seattle. It's further proof that, as long as this relocation hovers, the 30-team NBA is really a league of 29 with one franchise split into two halves. Remnants of the Sonics linger in Seattle, while Oklahoma City awaits the moving van's arrival.
Call them the Still Seattle But Almost Oklahoma City Sonics.
It is a strange, joyless time. Even if the Sonics had won the lottery, the upcoming court battle over the KeyArena lease would've stifled any celebration around here.
The trial is scheduled to begin June 16, 10 days before the draft.
By the time David Stern announces the Sonics' No. 4 pick, the team could either be gone, or at best, mired in two more lame-duck seasons.
It's a good thing the Sonics didn't luck into the right to draft Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose, the two can't-miss prospects of this class. The news would've been more depressing than exciting.
But there goes hope of getting a reprieve to talk basketball.
Traveling this road to losing the Sonics, the most discouraging part is that you can barely enjoy the game. You are trapped in legalese. You get depositions instead of dunks. You are forced to listen to the city and the Raiders argue about the traffic on Mercer Street.
When this is over, will you even remember that the fight was over hoops?
Shortly after the regular season ended, I posted a blog entry about the NBA playoffs. The first two responses were telling.
And: "With what is happening to the Sonics, I can't even watch the NBA much less get excited. I'm not sure I will ever be able to watch the NBA again."
Those are common reactions. And then I turned on ESPN on Tuesday and saw glimpses of lottery viewing parties in Miami, New York and Memphis.
Here, you wait in constant fear of the swinging ax.
In a stable NBA market, Tuesday wouldn't have been such a disappointment. The No. 4 pick could've been sold as worthwhile. For certain, Sonics general manager Sam Presti will wring everything he can out of that pick.
The Sonics will likely choose from this group of four players: Jerryd Bayless, Eric Gordon, Brook Lopez and O.J. Mayo. All four should be very good players. Bayless, Gordon and Mayo will be big-time scorers, and Lopez is a big man who should be at least as good as Los Angeles Clippers' center Chris Kaman.
So Presti has the opportunity to select another building block to put with Jeff Green and Kevin Durant, and here's predicting that Bayless, the explosive Arizona combo guard, will be the pick. In addition, the Sonics will have the Phoenix Suns' first-round selection (No. 24 overall) and four second-round choices. On draft day, they will nudge closer to having a winning team.
But this draft won't rescue you from depression. It won't galvanize enough fans to fight even harder for a miracle. It won't spur anything, other than Presti's methodical rebuilding process and the Raiders' excitement to finish off this heist.
In Seattle right now, the NBA stands for Nothing But Aggravation.
Uncertainty abounds. Planning for the future is trivial. And luck, well, after the last two years, you know to disregard luck.
No Beasley. No Rose. No matter.
Until this relocation issue is resolved, the Sonics are on hold anyway.
|Luck of the draw|
|The top four teams picked in Tuesday's NBA draft lottery, including the percentage chance each team had of landing the No. 1 pick:|
|Pick||Team||Chance at No. 1|
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