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Daily Roundup Aug 8th, '06

The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!

For some reason I feel like shouting it from the rooftops...

Clay Bennett is in town, writes Frank Hughes. Now perhaps the business of the offseason, namely signing Chris Wilcox and determining who's going to play what role in upper management can begin.

Frank also writes a snippet that amused me, just because I get a kick out of random blurbs like this:

Forward Jiri Welsch, the No. 16 overall pick in 2002, will leave the Milwaukee Bucks after signing with the Malaga team in Spain, his agent said.

Talk about a tough gig ... being Jiri Welsch's agent, that is. I wish Jiri all the luck in the world as he begins his new career -- "That Guy That Kind Of Looked Like Steve Nash." Don't forget to write.

If you aren't interested in Frank's gloom and doom take, may I present The Tale of Gary Washburn:

Bloody 'eck, that's not it. Let's try again.

That's better.

The Sonics have offered $19 million over three years -- more than the league's $5.2 million per year midlevel exception. Jeff Fried, who represents Wilcox, has asked for $24 million. Fried said he has "several" teams who would pay Wilcox that amount if the Sonics agreed to a sign-and-trade deal.

Kudos to Sonics management on their offer, which I think is completely fair given Wilcox's track record. It's slightly above the MLE and a hair over what Jared Jeffries was just offered by the stupidest GM in professional sports. I'd say Wilcox is worth slightly more than Jeffries because of position but that's an offer from a team determined not to overpay for potential.

Fried can talk about sign and trade all he likes, but the Sonics aren't under any obligation to take other teams mistakes. I'd look for him to hem and haw his way through this week and announce they're signing a multi-year deal in a few weeks. It is obvious the two sides aren't that far apart in terms of total compensation and definitely not far apart enough for them to sign the QO for reasons that have been detailed ad nauseaum on this site.

A sign-and-trade is a long shot. The Sonics have apparently received just one concrete deal and they quickly rejected Phoenix's package that included aging veteran center Kurt Thomas and the $16.3 million remaining on the final two years of his contract.

On behalf of my fellow Sonics fans, thanks. Uh, who gave Thomas that contract again?

Final Note: There's a summer tour for these guys? What's it called, OldFartAPalooza? Did the fans retaliate by first throwing their bottled water at the stage, then driving away in their minivans in a huff?