Marc Stein of ESPN.com is doing a two part team-by-team analysis of what he thinks of the moves made this offseason. The first part debued yesterday with the Eastern Conference, led by the Miami Heat. He has followed that up today with his review of the Western Conference, let by the NO/OKC Hornets. The Sonics came in 15th of 16 teams in the West.
Stein had this to say about our team:
The Sonics could have guaranteed themselves a favorable review here by offering a one-year guarantee to second-round pick Yotam Halperin, who's almost considered family at Stein Line HQ. But angry as I am that it hasn't happened yet -- an appropriate mood with so many Sonics fans fearing their team is headed to Oklahoma City at season's end -- I can't totally dismiss the Sonics' summer.
You figured they weren't going to spend any significant money this offseason because A) they've been non-spenders for years and B) the club, as we now know, was in the process of being sold when the free-agent buzzer sounded. Yet Seattle still managed to retain its top free agent, re-signing Chris Wilcox to a three-year deal worth $24 million, and resisted the urge to cut costs further by, say, shipping out Rashard Lewis. So it looks like the Sonics will at least field a decent team for the angry diehards in what could be their farewell to the Emerald City.
I think the Yotam Halperin thing is a bit of a red herring and suspect Stein didn't put a whole lot of effort into understanding the Sonics' offseason moves in actuality began late last season.
The Lakers get ranked ahead of the Sonics for overpaying Vlade Radmanovic? Has he paid any attention to who Denver has been signing and the size of the contracts to people not named Carmelo? While I don't think the Sonics had the best in the West, I do think they made the moves they needed to make to continue to improve.