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Daily Roundup Feb. 1, 2006

First day of February already? Why it seems like only yesterday that I was kickboxing my way through crowded malls to find the perfect gift and suffering through my perennial holiday cold. C'est la vie.

Tonight we revisit the Golden State Warriors. If you can remember, remember all the way back to December, the Warriors have dumped the Supes twice in a row, once in an overtime thriller and once in a 16-point blowout.

So with that in mind, I say again "Warriors, come out and play ..."

Here's a fun piece of news: Local munchkin and Knusky (Hick didn't sound right) Nate Robinson will be entering the Dunk Contest at the All-Star festivities, which now gives me a reason to watch what's become a stultifyingly dull event.

Mateen's back and not a moment too soon. Please, Sonic management, PLEASE get us a better backup PG ... as fans we've sat through more games of Flip Murray than I thought possible without vomiting. As an added bonus, sharp-eyed readers will notice Reggie Evans refers to himself in the third person.

Rashard Lewis needs to be more aggressive, and the team needs to run more offense through him. Couldn't have said it better myself, oh wait, I just did ... Ray Allen may be the team's superstar but I can't be the only who notices that when Rashard's on, the team's on ...and when he's struggling, so do the Supes.

I saved this article for last. I don't have anything negative to say about Danny. He's handled his situation maturely; in other words, 180 degrees differently than Vladimir Radmanovic has. But there's no question that this team is moving in a different direction. They're going young and Danny doesn't fit into their short or long term plans anymore.

But Fortson sees the way things are going under Hill, more uptempo, with the development of inexperienced youngsters Robert Swift, Johan Petro and Vladimir Radmanovic a focal point, just as it was during his stint in Golden State.

“From what Bob Hill told me, I would only be available for 10 minutes anyway,” Fortson said. “Twelve minutes at most.”

Does that bother him?

“For Robert Swift, that is cool, he deserves it,” he said. “He has been busting his (butt) for two years. So for me to come back and take his minutes, no, it is not worth it. We have enough weapons out there.”

Again, the evasiveness. Fortson wants to play, but not to steal minutes from Swift. He wants to play, but doesn’t feel compelled to perform for a coach he feels doesn’t respect him.

A buyout could be good for both sides. Danny's untradable this year and it's in no one's best interest to have him taking minutes away from Swift and Petro. Hopefully management can do something about this situation instead of letting it fester, as long as it doesn't involve them taking on more long term salary. Seattle needs to turn over about 40% of its roster next year -- clearly players like Reggie, Flip, Vitaly, Radmanovic, and Fortson don't fit into this club's future. In the past the Sonics have often chosen the path of least resistance when it comes to making roster changes. Whether that is because of their own self-devised payroll limitations or simply because they aren't getting offers is something I'd like to see them change. The good news is Danny's trade value does increase next year -- as an ending contract, he does have some value to teams looking to shed salary; the bad news is the Sonics are probably the NBA team least likely to add salary and they'd probably rather have the roster spot. Stay tuned ...