Percy Allen returns from his summer vacation today to paint a grim picture about the contract extensions of Luke Ridnour and Nick Collison. In an article that appears to be highly filled with opinion and speculation he comes to the conclusion that there is simply no way for both of the players to receive extensions this summer.
I tend to agree with Percy. When the SC.com crew broke down the roster amongst ourselves the other day we tried to come up with some numbers that would make sense for Collison, Ridnour, and the team. In the end we couldnâ€™t find any. It makes little sense for the players to take anything that is not at least moderately above the mid-level, and little sense for the team to give big money to the core of a team that won only 38 games last season. Ridnour and Collison are nice players, but so are Troy Murphy and Jason Richardson. Those early extensions tied the hands of the Golden State Warriors and ensured mediocrity for the next several years. There seems to be little sense for either party in locking up both players this early.
Also in the same article is speculation that Rashard Lewis will not be offered an extension until the ownership change, which we understand will occur on October 23 or 24th. This part of the article Iâ€™m not sure I agree with. The Lewis extension is fairly straightforward in terms of amount and duration and is likely to be agreed upon by both current and future ownership. If both groups OK the move it could happen prior to the ownership change.
This week there has been a lot of speculation about the final roster spot. From Yotam Halperin to Aaron Miles there are starting to be reports that the team is interested in bodies to potentially fill the #15 spot on the roster. I got some clarification regarding this issue from the Sonics front office and it is a fairly interesting process.
Starting about now the team will be expressing interest in a large number of players, far more than ever get reported. A top flight camp invitee like Miles may see invitations from as many as 10 teams, each of whom invite 15-20 guys to participate in their camp. From here the playerâ€™s agents try to negotiate either partial guarantees or conditional guarantees. Standard guarantees would include $20,000 for reporting to camp, $50,000 or for making it to the final cut. These conditional guarantees are often not reported but become very significant to the free agents who, if they fail to make an NBA roster may see only a $34,000 per year salary in the NBDL.
Once a player has narrowed his list down to a couple of teams who are willing to provide some guaranteed cash they then weigh the teams playing style, outlook, and of course rotation to see where the best fit is. It is because of this process that training camp invitations are never reported until the very last minute. At this point the teams simply do not know which of the players they are interested in having attend will decide to accept their invitation.
Mickeal Gelabale is starting to get my attention. Our own French correspondent consistently reports that, in the absence of Tony Parker Gelabale is the best player on the French squad. It appears that, at least in the international game our second round pick is a superior athlete and player to the Golden State Warriors Mike Peitrus who was drafted #12 overall a couple of years ago. I have advocated trading for Pietrus for a long time and am suddenly enamored with Gelabale. Between he and Mo Sene we are looking at a very intriguing rookie class. I pose the question for Sonics fans: Who will see more time in the rotation, Gelabale or Damien Wilkens?
Last tidbit is that the teams' famous summer scrimmages are expected to pick up intensity on September 5 when a new group of players arrives into town to participate. Iâ€™m expecting Noel Felix, Rashard Lewis, and possibly Mo Sene to be in town over the next several days and begin participation after the Labor Day Holiday.
Flood the PI board with basketball fans. Make sure that our voice outweighs the opposition in every public forum! Thanks for your help.