Yesterday was highlighted by a trip to Olympia to meet with Bellevue Representative Ross Hunter regarding the Arena issue. During this meeting it was made clear that the arena plan has not been proposed as of yet. He will not support or oppose the deal until one is presented to him.
This theme was consistent with remarks from around the team throughout the day. It is not that they have the majority of a plan fleshed out and are just putting the final details together. There are still key negotiations ongoing that could swing this deal towards either Bellevue or Renton. One source who is not directly involved in the negotiations advised that he understands environmental issues in Renton may be the issue. Regardless they expect some key decisions to be made this week and know that a proposal needs to be made prior to the end of the month.
Representative Hunter made it clear that the biggest obstacle to this getting done is the relative silence of sports fans. Opponents of this deal are being significantly more vocal and if you donâ€™t want to lose your team it is imperative that you contact the Washington State Legislature and especially the relevant committees. Please call or write yourself and encourage others to do so. It seems so small but continual reminders that this issue is important are what we need to get this done. Expect SOS, the Sonics, and possibly KJR to be rolling out some additional support for the arena effort as soon as a plan is enacted.
LEGISTLATIVE CONTACT INFO:
Washington State: Toll-free Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000
Last nights game against Denver was another tough loss and great moment to get caught up on things. Donâ€™t ever say that participating in Sonicscentral.com does not pay off because we have been invited back to a private lunch with members Sonics management. This lunch will be at the Furtado center and weâ€™ll get some serious insight into how trades develop and the communication process between GMâ€™s. AK, I expect you to make the trip. E-mail me if interested in attending.
What for Wilkens?
Talk amongst the media indicated that many people share my infatuation with Mickael Gelabale and believe that he must be kept in the rotation. Therefore the discussion centered on the trade value of Damien Wilkens with the logical assumption that he could be moved at the deadline. A first round pick is likely way out of the question, but a strong second rounder? What do you think his value is right now?
Also some talk with team employees regarding the Sonics status at the deadline. Are they a buyer or a seller? Of course the answers were primarily vague and non-committal but I can tell you that the next month is pretty critical. We could be either a strong buyer or a strong seller. Right now I see us as a seller only for the right price. You can pry away a guy like Allen or Lewis but only at a real serious premium. It has to be enough that the team can sell the deal to fans as â€œlook how well we set ourselves up for the futureâ€ Anything less hurts their arena chances.