Friday, July 20, 2007

Sonics get 2 first rounders from the Suns and Thomas

Today the Sonics acquired Kurt Thomas and 2 first round picks from the Suns.

This really just makes the Rashard Lewis deal a three way trade with Phoenix.

The Sonics needed to get something in exchange for Lewis and the trade exception has allowed this. However, the value sounds and feels better than the likely reality.

As we have already talked about on the blog today, the lower first round picks are very unlikely to amount to anything formative in your line-up. Yet, more kicks at the can is always a good thing. In other words, while the chances are limited the more attempts the better chance you have of hitting and the Sonics just got two more shots.

Bottom line, the Sonics got something for Lewis and used the trade exception correctly. The likely scenario has these as late first round picks, but there is always the chance that Nash or Amare gets hurt and then the Sonics pulled off a coup.

Kurt Thomas is a nice veteran and plays the game correctly. His best value is an expiring contract at the end of the season.

From a Suns perspective it is about money and staying away from the luxury tax. However, Thomas was one of their few defensive players. Thomas inability to stay healthy may have prevented the Suns from winning a championship.

Really this was a necessary evil for both teams and they both did the best considering the circumstances.


myELFboy said...

I like the trade. To go from losing Rashard Lewis for NOTHING and then turning around to get a solid veteran who is expiring with two first round picks, no matter what team it is, is a great deal. I like this deal much more than if the Sonics received players straight from Orlando or if they just let the exception expire. I'm sure the Sonics won't be an up-&-down type team this year, so perhaps Kurt won't get injured, or at least, not as often (knock on wood). Anyway, it's nice to have a veteran who is not a "thug" a.k.a. Danny Fortson, a big guy who can actually rebound and defend. I think he and Nick will be a good, fundamental combination at the 4 & 5 this year, alleviating some of the pressure off of Swift, Petro, and Sene.

Jeremy said...

I agree with you that this was a nice trade. However, I disagree with you that the picks aren't valuable if they are later round picks. Sam Presti comes from an organization that wrote the book on building a team around guys picked in the bottom part of the rounds.

I believe that draft picks are a very powerful tool in the right hands. It allows maneuverability in future transactions and the possibility of picking up pieces that fit on reasonable rookie salaries, therefore allowing more salary cap room.

Kurt Thomas should be a good veteran presence, a guy who knows how to play sound defense and plays the game the right way. I would assume that Kurt will only be with the Sonics for this coming year, but he was by far the best fit for the trade exception.

Getting Wally Sczerbiak, Dalonte West, Jeff Green, Kurt Thomas and 2 #1 picks for Ray and Rashard is a steal. Sam Presti again shows that he has the acumen to rebuild this team the right way.

Anonymous said...

After listening to Mr. Bennett and Mayor Nickles today on KJR, and reading comments that Mr. Nickles made at the WAC Thursday, and watching this unfold as it rationally seemed to be destined to from day one, I get the feeling that maximizing the financial losses that Mr. Bennett and his team endure during the remainder of his lease may be the only way to get our Sonics back (escalating the cash drains on team Bennett until they were forced to sellout). Regretfully, orchestrating a boycott of that nature would also impact the city, which might push the "city for more important things" into negotiating an attractive buyout (basically leading the whole strategy to backfire unless Mayor Nickles was willing to risk those losses in a stand-off to save the "civic asset" - becoming an instant folk hero at the same time). But just think if the Sonics are losing $20M a year playing to 15K people a night, how much would they loose playing before 5K fans? Could Clay absorb $40M a year loses for 3 years, plus the transfer fees (assuming OKLA City would pay the $100M to renovate the ford center) or would he need to sell? He seems pretty stubborn and would likely absorb his losses rather than selling out (and recognizing a huge loss on the sale of the team since he over paid) effectively giving the appearance that the tough cowboy (who I believe married into his oil money, but that is a different topic) got roughed up and ran out of town by a bunch of latte drinking tree huggers.

Yeah, pretty desperate but we are not going to build a new multi-purpose regional palace (regretfully) and attending the games over the next few years will just minimize Clay's financial losses and break our hearts even more when they leave (though they have tried to break all ties by shipping out the only players we had any emotional ties to).

Being a fan that saw his first games in 1968 as a 5 year old and being a passionate and faithful fan ever since, I don't know that I could quit going to the games that have become ingrained in my Nov-May (note the early exist) life, but if it was to support a greater long term cause and give some power back to the fans (who are being talked around as if we were the children at the separate table during Thanksgiving Dinner) I would be willing to take a chance, knowing that if we were not successful in keeping the team, we'd at least be successful in applying the greatest amount of financial pain on "Team Bennett" for kidnapping our Basketball team and "civic asset."

Derrik said...

I like the trade as well.. But man what a bloated, redundant roster the Sonics have! Presti needs to make a couple more moves and pick up some more young talent to add to the new core or Durant and Green. You have to also figure that the Sonics own pick will be in the lottery again next year, so you can add that in as a 'hidden' benefit of losing Ray and Rashard. Sure it's going to be a rough season, but like you say Locke in the NBA high draft picks are key.. and I would rather be a sh*tty young team with the 5th pick next year than a mediocre (7-8 seed) playoff team with the 17th pick. My question is with Thomas' expiring contract are we going to be in the market to pick up a big time free agent like Gilbert Arenas next offseason? We have MORE than enough depth. If Durant becomes the player we think he will by the second or third year we're going to need another stud vetran to make a deep run into the playoffs. Of course we have to put ourselves in a postion to have a max contract ready for Durant when the time comes. Now HE is a max contract type player. *COUGH* *COUGH*

Anonymous said...

Gilbert - are you serious??? Everything Presti does is about bringing character to the team. Gilbert is a head case, who'll do nothing but disrupt the team by trying to score 40+ points when he faces coaches who he feels have shunned him. I would love to see an upgrade at the 1 or 2, but I say no to Gilbert.