There are lots of people who have rightful issue with Luke Ridnour who has struggled to meet expectations over the last two years. He, more than anyone should be expected to benefit from the change of coaches. Ridnour simply never seemed to be on the same page with Bob Hill who struggled to find a role for the young player.
Now, with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis gone the 2003 draft class of Ridnour and Nick Collison will be asked to step up to much larger roles for the Sonics this season. Both players were rewarded with lucrative contract extensions last year with Collison seemingly showing his to be a great value. Now, whether they start or come off the bench these two players represent the longest tenured members of our team. Their commitment to hard work and leadership will be necessary if the young stars are going to have any success.
My personal belief is that Ridnour will step it up this season. He needs to become more committed to penetration and have players on the floor with him who will cut to the basket, allowing him to dish off more easily. Whether that makes him a dominant starter, marginal starter, or key role player I am not certain but I hope that it will keep him out of the funk he seemed to settle into last year. If not he'll face stiff competition from Earl Watson and Delonte West.
Talk about Ridnour and Collison's roles here.