1967 Seattle SuperSonics Expansion Draft Review

David Eskenazi Collection

Taking a look back at all the original Seattle SuperSonics.

On May 1, 1967 the third ever NBA expansion draft was held. Two brand new teams would begin playing in the league during the coming fall, the San Diego Rockets (yes, the Clippers weren't the NBA's first foray into San Diego) and the Seattle Supersonics.

Each team selected fifteen unprotected players from various other teams in the league to start the base of their new rosters. The teams rotated picks with the Rockets having the first pick.

Name: Henry Akin Former Team: New York Knicks Games played as Sonic: 36

Breakdown: Akin was a 6'10" center from THE Morehead State University, he was first drafted by the Knicks in the 1966 NBA draft in the second round, 11th overall pick. As a rookie he averaged 3.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, shot 36% from the field and played roughly 9 minutes a night in the 50 games he was active.

His minutes, games played and overall production did not increase. His numbers actually decreased.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

36

7.2

1.3

3.8

.336

0.6

0.9

.645

1.6

0.4

1.3

3.1

He only made it one season with the Sonics before his release and eventual signing with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA.

His Sonics highlight came on February 17, 1986 at Madison Square Garden where he dropped 12 points on 6-9 shooting against his old team.

Akin was nothing more than a fill in body player and I supposed he did an amicable job. He was also the first Sonic to wear #10.

Final Grade: C-

Name: Nate Bowman Former Team: Philadelphia 76ers Games played as Sonic: 0

Breakdown: He never put on a Sonics uniform and his main claim to fame in the ABA/NBA was that he had more personal fouls than shots made in his career.

Final Grade: Incomplete

Name: Dave Deutsch Former Team: New York Knicks Games played as Sonic: 0

Breakdown: The sharpshooter from the University of Rochester never once suited up for the Sonics. He only played a total of 19 games (all with the Knicks) in the NBA. He only scored a total of 21 points in his whole career.

Final Grade: Incomplete

Name: Richie Guerin Former Team: St. Louis Hawks Games played as Sonic: 0

Breakdown: Richie Guerin is a six time NBA All-Star, but he never suited up once for the Sonics. He decided becoming the Hawks coach was a better career move.

Final Grade: Incomplete

Name: Walt Hazzard Former Team: LA Lakers Games played as Sonic: 128

Breakdown: Walt Hazzard was an originally a territorial for the Los Angeles Lakers out of UCLA. Hazzard was Seattle's first ever All-Star. He scored 24 PPG with 6.2 APG in his first tour of duty with the Sonics. In the offseason he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for one of the ten greatest points guards off all time, Lenny Wilkins.

Even though he didn't win a title in Seattle, he was indirectly involved in bringing the man who would help Seattle to their first and only pro sports championship.

Season

G

GS

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

79

79

33.7

9.3

21.0

.441

5.4

7.0

.774

4.2

6.2

3.1

24.0

1973-74

49

-

11.7

1.6

3.7

.422

0.7

0.9

.756

1.2

2.5

1.6

3.8


His second go around with the team was not nearly as successful. He only played in 49 games, but became best friends with Spencer Haywood. Hazzard after retiring from the NBA became the head coach for the UCLA Bruins. He was there for four seasons, winning the NIT one year and making the round of 32 one other time.

He has since changed his name to Mahdi Abdul-Rahman. He passed away on November 18, 2011.

Final Grade: B

Name: Tommy Kron Former Team: St. Louis Hawks Games played as Sonic: 152

Breakdown: Tommy Kron was a 6'5" shooting guard from the University of Kentucky. He was primarily a bench player for the Sonics. He played two seasons in Seattle (67-69). He played a lot of minutes off the bench in his first season in Seattle and then saw his role drastically reduced in his second season.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

76

23.6

3.6

9.2

.396

2.4

3.1

.790

4.7

3.7

3.0

9.7

1968-69

76

14.8

1.9

4.9

.392

1.3

1.8

.701

2.8

2.5

2.4

5.1


Tommy was the second member of their expansion draft class to leave the team to go play for the ABA's Kentucky Colonels.

Tommy passed away in 2007 due to bladder cancer.

Final Grade: C

Name: Tom Meschery Former Team: San Francisco Warriors Games played as Sonic: 323

Breakdown: Tom Meschery was the 7th overall pick of the San Francisco Warriors in the 1961 NBA Draft from St. Mary's University. He was All-Star selection in 1963. He lead the Sonics in rebounding in 1967 with 10.2 a game, he also lead them in personal fouls that year as well.

Meschery spent four full seasons with the Sonics averaging 12.5 PPG and pairing that with almost nine rebounds.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

82

34.8

5.8

12.3

.469

3.0

4.2

.707

10.2

2.4

3.9

14.5

1968-69

82

32.6

5.6

12.4

.453

2.7

3.6

.736

10.0

2.4

3.7

14.0

1969-70

80

28.7

4.9

10.2

.482

2.5

3.1

.790

8.3

2.0

4.0

12.3

1970-71

79

23.1

3.6

7.8

.463

2.1

2.7

.750

6.1

1.4

2.6

9.3


Meschery has one of the more fascinating lives of a normal basketball player that I have ever ready about, a lot more than I really can mention in here without turning this into a biography on the man. I highly recommend that you do your own research on him. An extremely fascinating man.

Final Grade: B+

Name: Dorie Murrey Former Team: Detroit Pistons Games played as Sonic: 200

Breakdown: The Detroit Pistons took Dorie Murrey with the second pick in the second round of the 1966 NBA Draft. Murrey was from the small school, the University of Detroit Mercy.

Murrey was never a star; his best years were in Seattle where he averaged just over six points a game to go with 5.5 rebounds.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

81

18.4

2.6

6.0

.436

2.1

3.0

.689

7.4

0.8

3.4

7.3

1968-69

38

12.2

2.0

5.1

.387

1.6

2.6

.639

3.9

0.6

2.1

5.6

1969-70

81

13.3

1.9

4.2

.446

1.7

2.3

.731

4.4

0.9

2.4

5.5


Murrey was made available by the Sonics in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft and was selected by the Portland Trailblazers. He only played in two games in Portland before being traded to the Baltimore Bullets.

Final Grade: C

Name: Bud Olsen Former Team: San Francisco Warriors Games played as Sonic: 90

Breakdown: A center from Louisville, originally selected in the second round of the 1962 NBA Draft by the Cincinnati Royals. Bud averaged 3.5 points for the Sonics over 90 games, with 2.5 boards and an assist to go with it.

He was eventually traded to the Boston Celtics. Not surprisingly he ended his career with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA.

Final Grade: F

Name: Ron Reed Former Team: Detroit Pistons Games played as Sonic: 0

Breakdown: "Sweet Butter" Ron Reed was a two-sport star for the University of Notre Dame. He was the 20th overall pick in the 1965 draft by the Detroit Pistons. He played two seasons with the Pistons before he was drafted by the Sonics in the expansion draft.

Reed would never play a game for the Sonics; he instead decided to play baseball for the Atlanta Braves. During a 19-year career in the MLB, Reed 146-140, had a 3.46 ERA, 1481 strikeouts and 103 saves. His last appearance was in 1984 for the Chicago White Sox. Ironically in his last ever appearance in the majors, Reed pitched two innings of hitless ball, striking out one and earning the final save of his career against the Seattle Mariners.

Final Grade: Incomplete

Name: Rod Thorn Former Team: St. Louis Hawks Games played as Sonic: 177

Breakdown: If you are old enough to remember, yes, it is that Rod Thorn who used to do the second round of the NBA Draft while he was Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA. Rod was a high school star from Princeton, West Virginia. He of course went on to play for WVU where he was also a star and was selected as the number two overall pick in the 1963 NBA Draft.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

66

25.3

5.7

12.7

.451

3.8

5.2

.737

4.0

3.5

1.8

15.2

1968-69

29

19.6

4.5

9.8

.463

2.4

3.3

.732

2.9

2.8

2.0

11.5

1969-70

19

5.5

1.1

2.4

.444

0.8

1.3

.625

0.8

0.9

0.4

2.9

1970-71

63

12.2

2.2

4.7

.472

1.1

1.6

.676

1.6

2.9

1.0

5.6


Thorn had a great debut year for the Sonics with 15.2 points, four boards and three and a half assists. His Seattle career was marred by injury and he retired after the 1971 season. He did stay on as an assistant coach for the Sonics for two seasons before moving on.

Thorn is currently the President of Basketball Operation for the Philadelphia 76es.

Final Grade: C

Name: Ben Warley Former Team: Baltimore Bullets Games played as Sonic: 0

Breakdown: Warley never once put on the green and gold. Instead he went to the ABA to play for the Anaheim Amigos/Los Angeles Stars franchise. He never did play for the Kentucky Colonels. I'm shocked too.

Final Grade: Incomplete

Name: Ron Watts Former Team: Boston Celtics Games played as Sonic: 0

Breakdown: Very forgettable player. Only scored 40 points for his career, but he did win a championship with the Celtics in his rookie season.

Final Grade: Incomplete

Name: Bob Weiss Former Team: Philadelphia 76ers Games played as Sonic: 82

Breakdown: Bob Weiss is best known for being a long time assistant under form Sonics' coach, George Karl. He is also well known for being the coach that replaced Nate McMillan in Seattle and getting fired midway through the season with a team that had won 53 games the year previous.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

82

19.7

3.6

8.4

.430

2.6

3.1

.839

1.8

4.2

1.7

9.8

Weiss, as a player, came to the Sonics via the 76ers where he had just won a championship. Weiss played in all 82 games in his lone season with the Sonics, averaging a just a tad below 10 points and a little over four assists a game.

The Sonics let him go via the 1968 expansion draft to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Final Grade: C+

Name: George Wilson Former Team: Chicago Bulls Games played as Sonic: 77

Breakdown: George "Jiff" Wilson was a 6'8" center from the University of Cincinnati. Jiff won a gold medal as part of the US Men's basketball team in the 1962 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

77

16.1

2.3

6.5

.359

1.4

2.0

.703

6.1

0.7

2.8

6.1

He was originally a territorial pick in the 1964 draft by the Royals where he stayed two seasons before being traded to the Bulls in 1966. Seattle picked him up via the expansion draft and he played with the Sonics for one season averaging 6.1 points and 6.1 rebounds. Seattle left him unprotected and the Phoenix Suns in the 1968 expansion draft picked him up.

Final Grade: D

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