Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Ray Allen: Back to Seattle

One piece of the puzzle has fallen into place, and to us, who had already experienced a crushing of optimism in regards to the Sonics, this represents something big.

I mean, look at this contract. 5 years, 85 MILLION!!

Wow. That is a heck of a lot of money to be tossing Ray Allen's way. Guaranteed Prediction: This will be viewed as a horrible contract the last year or two, as Allen's knees give out and his shooting touch falters. However, until then, this is fantastic. Mark Stein of ESPN.com reports that this opens the door for Nate McMillan to return. To Mark, there is no way that Allen and McMillan did not have a couple of large talks before Allen agreed to resign. With Allen back and locked up long-term, I expect McMillan to spurn the Trail Blazers, who have NOTHING outside of Martell Webster, and come back to Seattle as well.

Next up, the second tier of free agents. Do want all of those players? We now have Ridnour, Allen, Lewis, Collison, and Fortson as a starting lineup, with Swift coming off the bench. We'll see who fits best with that roster. Personally, if we have the money, I would love a run at Tyson Chandler.

Conclusion: Good news. Heck, great news. The Sonics will not be in a complete rebuilding mode next year.

Gavin: My take, slightly more optimistic...

First off, this is not as bad a financial decision as previously indicated. It is actually a five year 80 million contract, with 5 million in incentives. The reason for the larger deal (previously offered 70 million ), is that the LA Clippers offered more than 80 to Allen. Ray's agent informed the Sonics of the offer, we quickly responded, and the deal was done. This is great news for one main reason. We are willing to spend money to be competitive. I've read so many articles over the course of the season and postseason from national and local authors questioning the Sonics' commitment financially to the team. Then, frankly, came a draft that could only be termed as "rebuilding", not indicative of 2005-2006 success. Now we can look at our two largest postseason objectives... signing McMillan and Allen, and we have been more than financially competitive for them. These are solid signs for this team in the here and now.

Next, we can officially start looking forward to next season. Yes, there are still many holes left to fill, but we have four out of a strating five, Allen, Rashard Lewis, Luke Ridnour, and Nick Collison. Those four, if healthy, get us into the playoffs as a six or seven seed. If Collison and Ridnour continue to improve we have additional gain. Allen was important to get back to take the main load off of Rashard's shoulders, as Lewis has proved time and again that he is unable to carry a team.

As Colin wrote, I think this means that Nate McMillan is coming back. Ray is a cerebral star, and not one likely to resign with a team not committed to its head coach. I assume again that they have discussed their futures before Allen signed this offer. Ray being around for five years should mean that Nate isn't hung out to dry again, although it is true that Ray was around for a few years while Nate was hugn out to try. It is different now, though, because of Collison and Ridnour. They are and will be the difference.

Still on the docket, resigning Damien Wilkins. Making a run at Antonio Daniels. Matching a reasonable offer for Radmanovic. Not paying Jerome James. Replacing Reggie Evans with someone who can shoot (Stromile Swift, Tyson Chandler (at least Chandler can hit layins, if nothing else)). Letting Ronald Murray ruin someone else's rotation. Much more to come... but at least the start has been made. It would be tremendous to have another great offseason after what the Hawks did. Two possible turmoils that ended up tremendously well. I am now officially looking forward to it.

posted by colin_hesse @ 12:44 PM  0 comments

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