The center position is perhaps the most closely contended spot for who will be getting minutes this coming season.
Robert Swift: Due to injury, Swift was limited to 47 games last season, starting 20 of them. In 21 minutes per game he averaged 6.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.19 blocks and shot .515 from the floor. His EFF rating was +9.36. Swift's Roland rating is -4.6. Swift's net +/- was -3.5. Swift's fair salary rating leads this group.
Johan Petro: Petro played in 68 games, starting 41 last season. In 18.9 minutes per game he averaged 5.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, .75 blocks, and shot .510 from the floor. His EFF rating was +7.43. Petro's net +/- was -5.7. Petro's Roland rating is a -8.2.
Danny Fortson: Fortson played in 23 games last season, only starting 1. In 12 minutes per game he averaged 3.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, .09 blocks and shot .529 from the floor. His EFF rating was +4.91. Fortson's net +/- was +8.5. Fortson's Roland rating is a -1.7
Mo Sene: Sene has no NBA experience, and there is little film from which to make an informed decision on where to rank him. He has a great wing span, and is supposedly quick on his feet. He appears to have the ability to erase or modify a significant number of shots, though it remains to be seen how that will translate against the size and quality of players in the NBA.
82games.com +/-stats from last season.
Robert Swift has been working hard this off-season to ensure that he has done everything possible to give himself a chance to win the starting position. By his own account he came into camp last season out of shape, or at least not in the shape he would have liked to have been in. This may have been a contributing factor into his injury plagued early portion of the season, where he missed some games, and had to play through pain in others. Swift showed up at the Rocky Mountain Review and begged to get into the games (which he did get on Sene getting injured). Swift is in better shape this year, and has been lifting hard putting on more muscle. He has also let the red 'fro grow, though thankfully not resembling Chris "Kaveman" Kamen in any way. I believe Robert will be your opening day starting center barring any injury between now and then. I think Robert will get at least 50% of the center minutes, and might get some opportunities to play along with Petro this year where either can/will serve as Center.
Johan Petro has acquired some good experience in international play this off-season. Petro played in 7 of France's 9 FIBA games, logging 64 playing minutes and many more in practice against quality teammates. Petro should come into the season with a built in comfort level with new Sonic Mickael Gelabale from playing together on France's team. It would not surprise me to see Petro start a good number of games this season, but for now I see him coming off the bench and being paired with Gelabale, Collison (who he played well with last year), Watson and Wilkins.
Danny Fortson, as always, is a wild card. There were rumors in the off-season that Fortson might be traded, or might simply not show up for training camp. Neither were the case, as Fortson has been in Seattle for a couple of days. Fortson brings by far the most experience to the table. He is a cagey veteran who has averaged a double/double previously. Fortson brings along the baggage of a foul bulls eye and a reputation for being a thug on the floor. He also brings along his potential mood swings which can effectively eliminate him from being effective in games. On a good day, Fortson brings to the table some things none of the other centers on the Sonics provide. Unfortunately for the Sonics, those good days were few and far between this past season. It is up to Fortson as to how big of a role he will play in this coming season.
"Mo" Saer Sene will quite possibly earn some minutes this coming season, especially in blow outs and in special situations. I don't foresee him cracking the starting rotation barring a string of significant injuries to our other players. While he may be a hope for the future, I expect he will be raw enough that other teams will be able to exploit him regularly, especially early in the season. Mo is working hard with Jack Sikma, but there is quite a bit of polishing that will need to be done before he is fully NBA ready.