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Let Trade Season Begin!

Somehow this picture seemed appropriate as GM's around the league line up to rape the grizzlies of Pau Gasol by offering their assorted junk. You can draw one of two conclusions from it. Either this guy snuck up behind and is preparing to mount up on the poor sleeping grizzly or Jerry West will have to be shot dead before he agrees to many of the deals reported in print media...Take your pick on the caption

Regardless the annual all-star gathering this weekend signals that all the GM's, Execs, and media members are gathered together to talk and it is only a matter of time before the gossip follows. We got a starter today from Mr. Frank Hughes...

In gossipy tidbit number 1 Hughes confirms that the Atlanta Hawks have made inquiries regarding PG Luke Ridnour. Funny because Scott and I have been discussing a Ridnour to ATL trade for months. It just seems as if the Hawks are a great fit for Luke and also that somehow the Ridnour/Watson tandem does not have the makings of long term success. Personally I would rather move Watson but I am not certain how Ridnour can handle coming off the bench for his career.

The Ridnour to ATL discussion is probably much more interesting as a secondary move if the team succeeds in moving a larger piece. In all of my trade thinkings I wind up coming back to the fact that the team needs to improve either the PG or C position and either way it leaves us with 1 young body too much. If the team could find a trade which returns a taller, more consistent, and more defensive oriented starting PG then Watson becomes the perfect sub off the bench and having a destination in mind for Ridnour makes the move that much easier.

Number 2 is a rumor I heard about a couple of weeks ago but held back. I have to apologize but for the most part I am going to sit out this year's speculation frenzy. In very general terms it seems incompatible, or at least inappropriate given my current relationship with the team. I don't want people within the organization watching their every word around me.

Portland has called not once, but multiple times about Robert Swift. There is not much more to it than that. The Sonics don't seem all that interested but it jives with reports that Portland would love to get some youth back in exchange for Magloire without disrupting what they are doing this year. The Sonics won't give Robert up for a quick fix.

In general terms it is sounding like the Sonics will not make any moves until this offseason. Many people within the organization acknowledge that changes need to be made and some have even stated it may be time to "blow it up" and start over. Still there is the question of who makes these moves. The team certainly will not look for any short term fixes that could hurt their draft position for this season. They know that a top pick would cure a lot of ills very quickly. Longer term fixes would be pretty tough at the moment because Rick Sund's future is obviously uncertain. Rick has one year left on his contract and is an obvious scapegoat for the teams problems this year. Lenny Wilkens is not going to coach despite any reports that indicate otherwise but he does have some current say in personel matters and it is possible to envision him as the GM or President of the franchise next season. Unless a deal comes along which knocks their socks off expect the Sups to wait until the offseason rolls around, sort out their GM situation, and then let Rick or his replacement make some plans.