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Setting Expectations

Can you tell that I’m having trouble getting a finished article up on the site? SC.com readers will have to bear with me as I get ready to head to Salt Lake City for Summer League Coverage.

Mike Gelabale has instantly become my favorite Sonic player solely because of his hair. Sporting great Fortsonesque dreadlocks he arrived in Seattle to sign his contract and meet with the media yesterday, becoming the focal point of today’s Sonics related articles. It appears to me as if the Sonics are treating Gelabale like a first round pick in terms of stature and publicity as second round picks do not normally warrant their own press conferences. While we will have to wait until September to judge his play today we can judge him by the hair. I give him an A+..

As always check out the work of Kevin Pelton at www.supersonics.com for extensive coverage of Gelabale including audio from Director of Player Personel Dave Pendergraft.

If you’re looking for A+ grades in the summer league then temper your expectations a bit. I want to go on record for Mo Sene before he gets a chance to draw extensive criticism. Please keep in mind the following fact:

SUMMER LEAGUE IS A GUARDS GAME!

Now if Sene goes off and has a game with 15 rebounds and 8 blocked shots you can remind me that I said it was irrelevant for big men. On the flip side please remember before being overly critical that we simply are not going to be able to tell very much about Sene’s overall abilities with Denham Brown shooting 25 shots per game and guards dominating the ball at every level. The Summer league is ideal for players such as Randy Foye and maybe even Ronnie Brewer so I expect many people to come back with the argument that those guys may be better players than ours. Sene on the other hand will struggle. He’ll struggle with position. He’ll struggle with fouls. He will struggle when plays simply break down as they do in summer league. Guards can recover from these types of breakdowns to make one on one sloppy plays. True centers tend to suffer when play gets quick and sloppy and big men who thrive at summer league do so by rolling to the basket or picking up slop when guards make bad shots.

My personal theory is that Robert Swift has decided not to play in the Rocky Mountain Review for that very reason. Swift has participated in all scrimmages and workouts during the past weeks and will travel with the team to continue working with the coaching staff. If he is already on site it begs the question of why he is not participating in the games. My reasoning, Swift knows that the worst case scenario is a broken ankle, should he play well and average 10 & 6 it will only serve as a lightning rod for criticism he neither deserves nor wants to deal with.

In other news reports today have Chris Wilcox either signing the one year tender offer or finding common ground with the team on a three year deal. The team reportedly is offering between $18 and $21 million per year with Wilcox seeking $27 million. In my opinion the Sonics need to get this done even if that means paying Wilcox the full amount he is asking. While Wilcox is still very unproven the short nature of the deal makes it extremely low risk and, as written several days ago I believe that the cumulative sense of the franchise being cheap is reaching a point where the cost is becoming too high. In the end I think that letting Wilcox walk costs them more than $6 million in lost support and negative public perception. One factor that has not been brought up in the Wilcox negotiations however is Nick Collison. Am I the only one who wonders if they could suddenly announce a more reasonably priced extension for Collison to shore up their PF position and further weaken Wilcox’ position? Collison finished the season extremely strong and continues to work out daily at the team’s facility. In the end his asking price may be a big factor in all this.

Keep up the conversation while I am gone and check back often for updates. Also tune into KJR 950 at 2:35 on Saturday when I will be on the air with Dick Fain providing a live report from the Sonics summer league game against Philadelphia.