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Daily Roundup Mar 21 06

Luke sounds off!

“It makes you think. I am not going to sit here and say I am not thinking about it,” Ridnour said. “I have been here and I have been the guy playing and I don’t want to be that guy that started and just doesn’t play, that plays a quarter or two and then is done. (The extension) is something you have to look at, but at the same time you have to look at what is best for your career too.”

In a nine-game stretch in late January, Ridnour played at least 41 minutes in seven of those games. He is averaging a career-high 34 minutes a game for the season. But in the past five games, Ridnour’s playing time has been reduced to 30 minutes a game, including 21 minutes in a victory over Philadelphia last Thursday and 24 minutes against Minnesota on March 10, with Watson playing the fourth quarter both times.

Note to whiny Luke: If you could play defense and not get wiped out on screens and picks like Earl, you wouldn't be picking splinters out of your butt in the 4th quarter. Food for thought. It is possible that some of this is Frank Hughes trying to create interest in the dog days of the NBA season with not much else to talk about right now:

"Not a big talker to begin with, Ridnour has left the locker room immediately after recent games, clearly unhappy about his role. "

That's a supposition...sloppy writing.

This is Frank Hughes writing his end of the season column a little early so he can concentrate on covering the NBA playoffs for ESPN. There's not a lot of value in this piece other than the comments by Wilcox's agent:

"After free agency monopolized much of last summer, it should not consume as much of the Sonics’ time this year when the period opens July 1. Their only true free agent is newly acquired Chris Wilcox, who is restricted, which means the Sonics can offer him anything and match offers from other teams.

Wilcox’s agent, Jeff Fried, said his client thinks Seattle is the perfect fit and would like to sign a long-term deal.

“Chris really enjoys it. He likes the guys, he likes the coach and he thinks there is the foundation to make a run for things,” Fried said. “This year it may be difficult, but with a missing piece or two, he certainly is optimistic for the future.”

As Frank writes further down , I think the Supes will let another team set the market for his services and then decide whether or not to match. I see Wilcox getting the MLE at least from some team.

There's also a blurb about Lewis:

Meanwhile, Rashard Lewis said he is planning to opt out of his contract after next season. But that could be superseded this summer when the Sonics offer Lewis a contract extension, as seems likely.

Because the rules of the collective bargaining agreement are still unclear, it is not known if the Sonics can offer Lewis a two- or three-year extension.

However, they can offer a raise of 10.5 percent on the $10.9 million salary he is due next season, meaning Lewis is in line to earn a minimum extension of $25.25 million over two seasons. That would keep him in a Sonics uniform until 2011, when he will be 31.

No question the team should be talking extension with Rashard, even if they can't come to terms right now.

Best of luck to Rick Brunson and Dean Demopoulous -- I'd like to see either one get their shot at the Temple job.

Percy Allen chips in with another Ridnour piece, I'm sticking to my contention that this is a little controversy to get people talking about the last 15-20 games.

Last week, Watson practically predicted that his emerging presence might upset Ridnour. He spoke at length about a point-guard battle with Jason Williams when he was in Memphis that led coach Hubie Brown to resign and undermined the Grizzlies, who were swept in the first round of the playoffs in 2004 and '05.

"I'd been given the team at certain points in the season where Hubie would come to me and be like, 'Be ready,' " Watson said. "I would finish the games in January, February and half of March. Then at the end of March, he would give it back to Jason after we secured a playoff spot, and he would [say] thanks.

"It became a role, and I accepted it because I wanted to win. When he gave me those chances, I took advantage of it and ran with it. That was part of the problem because Jason didn't like it."

Earl's exceeding the expectations of his role. Ridnour doesn't quite have his experience, but he's still struggling at times. I'm going to side with the guy who plays fearless defense. Luke may not see himself this way but he's simply not a 35-40 mpg player right now. He needs a platoon partner.

This is old news, but compare and contrast today's stories with Watson's demeanor in this piece from last week.

And in a eerie case of playing time Couvade Syndrome, Damien Wilkins chips in about his reduced minutes. All I can say is impress me Damien ... right now I like what I'm seeing out of Wilkins but I think I might like it less if I was seeing twice as much.

Basically Earl is the guy who's demanding minutes because of what he's bringing on the floor ... instead of subbing Damien in early Hill's going with a 2 PG lineup in the backcourt because it works and because Earl brings so much energy off the bench. I like Damien, but Noel Felix showed more hustle and energy in his last appearance than Damien's shown for most of this year.

Good matchup against the Kings tonight. I look forward to watching the Supes in this one. The Kings are a team they should be able to handle if they bring the intensity.