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Monday, January 1, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM


Sonics Notebook | Judgment day near for Wilks, 2 other Sonics

Seattle Times staff reporter

Four years of NBA experience has taught Mike Wilks not to ask questions at this time of year.

"What good would that do?" he said.

So the Sonics guard plans to go about his business and try his best not to think about Jan. 10, the day players in his situation learn if their non-guaranteed contracts become guaranteed.

"I've got enough things to think about," Wilks said. "It's in the back of my mind, though."

General manager Rick Sund and coach Bob Hill will meet Thursday to decide the futures of Wilks and rookies Desmon Farmer and Andreas Glyniadakis.

Wilks, averaging 2.1 points in 14 games, seems safe because Hill likes having three point guards.

"Mike Wilks has done a really good job for us," Hill said. "I'm sure everybody would agree that he's done a really good job."

Player of the game: Filling in for the injured Rashard Lewis, Damien Wilkins finished with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots. He converted 9 of 11 field goals, including two three-pointers.

Play of the game: Despite nearly being tackled in mid-air by Al Jefferson, Chris Wilcox flushed a tomahawk dunk after receiving a pass from Ray Allen late in the third quarter. The dunk gave Seattle a 68-51 lead.

Key stat: The Sonics are 3-0 when Danny Fortson starts.

Up next: at Dallas, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Glyniadakis, who has made four starts and played in 14 games, is averaging 1.4 points. The 7-foot-1 center has proven his value against opponents with a tall center, but first-round draft choice Mouhamed Sene makes him expendable.

Although it's not official, Sene isn't likely to be shipped to the NBA Development League.

"I see Sene right where Robert [Swift] and Johan [Petro] were last year when I became the coach," Hill said. "He's on a mission, this kid. He wants to play. I'm going to play him. I think he's at a point where that's what he needs.

"We either need to make a commitment and play him now or send him the D-League. One or the other. But he's ready to help us."

Farmer will have difficulty retaining his spot because Hill would like to sign veteran Penny Hardaway to a 10-day contract and the team is intrigued by several players in the D-League.

Fortson situation

The Sonics remain at the mercy of 6-8 Danny Fortson, their best option at center.

When Fortson feels his sore right knee is healthy enough to play, he tells trainer Mike Shimensky, who then informs Hill.

On Sunday, Hill went straight to the source and asked Fortson if he was available when he reported to KeyArena at 5:52 p.m.

"You going to play?" Hill shouted from his coach's office.

"Yeah, I'm good," Fortson replied.

When asked if the uncertainty at center is troublesome, Hill said: "It's not just about the coach. It's about the coach and it's about the rest of the team, those guys sitting in there who really want to win. It's about understanding that the rotations of a team are important.

"So guys know or have somewhat of an idea of when they're going to go in a game. If they're starting or where their minutes are coming from. That's all real stuff."

Still, Hill has no choice except to play Fortson because he has no confidence in Petro as a starter and has tried other players with little success.

"He can absolutely fill a void because we need a starting center," Hill said. "He's a veteran. He's tough. He can rebound. And he anchors the middle of your defense better than anybody we have."


• The Sonics will travel to Dallas today because teams aren't allowed to practice on holidays, although Hill will open a gym and hold a voluntary workout.

"The hardest thing about the schedule is there's no practice time," he said. "We've had four practices since the season has started."

• Sonics G Ray Allen on today's league-wide switch back to the leather basketball: "I welcome the change." The NBA shelved the synthetic composite ball that it used for the first two months of the season in favor of the leather models that had been used since 1970.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company




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