Give us your letter grades for our own Sonic dynamic duo - Bacardi and Cola!
Brian Robinson: B+
May as well lump them both together. They both showed a lot of potential, but consistency is everything in this league. I'm not sure whether Petro has the ability or Swift has the health to be a dominant force in
this league. Both could be Tyson Chandler type players, but who wants to get into a scenario where you're forced to dish out 75 million to a 7 foot role player who misses 30 games a year? May be better to trade
potential for proven stuff.
Mr. Baker: B
I can't go higher based on the wandering in the desert Swift did during the Weiss era. Kids need direction, when directed Swifty changed the behavior of the other team. Don't ever underestimate how important that is. If he masters the Sikma step through pivot/step back shot he will end up like Sikma, an All-Star. Being able to move through the paint and shoot a step back fade away is impressive. Robert is over 7 feet tall, so it is unstoppable. Paging Johan Petro: see the shot doctor, Bob Hill, this summer. I think he was a great draft pick, then I look to see that there were many good players from last year's draft. Still, drafted at #25, at age 19, perfoming at a spot this team needs, I can't get over how good of a pick he is.
Petro was a very nice surprise. Swift's development seemed a year ahead of schedule. Next year, he'll have expectations.
Swift showed flashes of why the Sonics took him as high as they did. If Swift was available in this draft he's the number one pick without question.
Petro got a higher grade by me because of low expectations
coming into season. When given a consistent role, he did excellent.
Both players had great seasons for what was essentially their rookie campaigns. Petro showed terrific ability for a big man drafted at #25 and could concievably play some PF in the future due to his ability to hit the elbow jumper. At times, he reminded me of Shawn Kemp in terms of athletic ability at age 19. Like Kemp he still has a lot of growing to do before he becomes a basketball player, right now he's more of an athlete. Even given his lack of experience Johan's a perfectly serviceable backup PF/C on nearly any team in the NBA and was a complete steal where he was drafted. Kudos to Rick Sund.
Robert Swift was also very impressive, showing an array of offensive skills and a refreshing willingness to mix it up on the defensive boards. His conditioning could still be a little better at times -- I thought he was easily fatigued many times during the season although some of it could have been a result of the Sonics non-existent conditioning for almost the entire first half of the year. If he takes another step forward in his development he will be one of the top 10 young big men in the NBA next year.
That's not to say both players had their deficiencies. Both were very bad at picking up rotations and defending the paint. Hopefully this is just a byproduct of their youth and being thrown into the deep end by coach Bob Hill without benefit of an extended training camp. But next year both players will have to show increased intensity and aptitude in the shotblocking and defensive facets of the game. Seattle's team defense depends on it as our starting perimeter players are all subpar or indifferent defenders.
As with the rotation at point guard Seattle still has a lot to like in their young players. They may be the only team in the Western Conference with two 20 year old 7 footers with serious upside.
CUMULATIVE GRADE: B