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Rotation Ramblings...

Well it is really starting to look like this is the team we'll go into camp with. Since sleep seems as elusive as ever I'm going to throw my late night rotation thoughts up. Forgive any typing mistakes as I'm waiting for the good old ambien to kick in

The great thing about looking at the Sonics rotation is that there are some decent young players who get left out in the cold when you lay it out. These guys become available in trade and that leads to a whole new round of conversation. Here are my thoughts of the moment. This can go a ton of ways:

Opening Night:
C: Robert Swift
PF: Nick Collison
SF: Kevin Durant
SG: Wally Szczerbiak
PG: Luke Ridnour

Bench: Chris Wilcox, Jeff Green, Delonte West, Earl Watson
DNPCD: Johan Petro, Damien Wilkens, Mike Gelabale, Mo Sene

End of Season:
C: Robert Swift
PF: Nick Collison
SF: Kevin Durant
SG: Delonte West
PG: Luke Ridnour

Bench: Jeff Green, Kurt Thomas, Wally Z, Mo Sene, Damien Wilkens
Traded: Chris Wilcox, Earl Watson
DNPCD: Johan Petro, Mike Gelabale

So my thought goes that PJ will not want the pressure of starting two rookies and as a result makes Green a bench player. Since we are light at SG that means we try things with Wally at the #2 spot. Nick gets the nod over Wilcox simply because I think PJ is going to like him better, especially starting next to a guy like Durant. You simply do not have enough defense on the court if you have a rookie, Wally Szczerbiak, and Chris Wilcox. As a result we go with the opening night projection.

I don't think Wally is going to be able to defend the 2, nor do I think Wilcox is going to like coming off the bench so somewhere in the season I see the team pushing Delonte up to form a guard tandem with Ridnour and Wally demoted to the bench. Wilcox gets traded along with Watson, probably for an asset that makes my whole end of season lineup completely moot. Still we're just having fun here.

I expect Luke to perform better for reasons I've gone into. We'll be able to withstand the lack of a true SG in that mix because Durant is such a jump shooter. The two guards will be asked to penetrate all day long and thus will have to share some ballhandling duties and we'll use our depth at the PG position to ensure they don't get tired.

For the most part we'll try to have one of Collison or Thomas in the frontcourt at all times to provide defensive presence. By the end of the season, with Thomas wearing out we will have worked an 8-10 mpg role in for either Sene or Petro. I'm predicting Sene because I'm higher on him than most and think his defensive potential will really start to show itself. He won't be ready to contribute on offense but as an 8mpg defensive role player he will fit better than Petro who will try to prove himself with 6 shots in that same period.

This leaves Gelabale and Petro out in the cold and those two should have some value somewhere. I loved Gelabales potential last year but keep hearing that the team is concerned about his work ethic. Petro simply hasn't gotten better but he is still 21 years old and a 7 footer. What does that make him worth?

By the end of the season I envision a lot of smaller lineups with Durant, Green, and Collison in the frontcourt. They really like Green and want him to get in minutes both at the 3 and the 4. He could very easily be a starter by the end of the year.

Just my thoughts and they are subject to change. What are yours?