SAER SENE IS A SONIC! I called it almost 4 months ago when I jokingly commented "I've never heard of this guy and he's over 7 feet. Of course we'll take him"
Seriously though the feeling among the gathered press at the Furtado Center is that the Sonics were legitimately enthused about Sene, not just giving lip service to his virtues. The primary reasoning behind the pick is obstensibly that there were no impact players available at #10, so they may as well swing for the fences with a player like Sene. Some other details about the pick came from GM Rick Sund.
For starters the team is pretty familiar with Sene. Assistant Coach Jack Sikma coached Sene in a European tournament nearly a year ago and Sikma, Detlef Schrempf, and Director of Player Personel Dave Pendergraft all watched him at a recent american tournament where he averaged nearly 9 blocks a game. All three were struck by the amazing progress he had made. Clearly Pendergraft and head coach Bob Hill were the driving force behind this pick. Sund describes how he likes to keep an open mind about all picks but after Sene's first Seattle workout Pendergraft "was not really impartial anymore."
The team was extremely clear that Sene will not be sent to the Developmental League or Europe. At the exit interviews Bob Hill's most reoccuring comment was the need for a defensive oriented third center. According to Sund Coach Hill felt that Sene is equal or better than any veteran center they may have gotten on the market and they definately expect him to be the third center in the rotation next season. As the concensus was that no player selected could crack the rotation it may be that Sene was not the reach we all thought.
Sene was the only player brought back for a second workout and the team felt he, along with Randy Foye were the two players in the draft you would most likely regret passing on. He blew them away in his workouts and the decision to draft him, assuming no suprises in the 9 preceding picks was made several days ago.
Check back for more commentary later.