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!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Enter Bizzaro World

Seattle fans do not have great memories of trade deadlines in any sport. Mention the words and shudders creep down our spine as we start compulsively muttering "Heathcliff Slocumb... what the hell was Woody thinking?". In fact, trading in general has never been the strong suit of pretty much any Seattle team. More likely than not, you can be assured that in one of those articles in ten years, some smug punk like Chad Ford will write a "worst trades of the decade" piece and Seattle will be named somewhere.

That's what made today so weird. After dealing with "Stand Pat" Gillick, I wasn't really expecting Rick Sund to make the moves he needed to. I'm far too used to seeing all the juicy rumors and then watch Isaiah Thomas blow it all up by doing something stupid. That still happened (there needs to be a reality show that shows what goes on behind the scenes in Knicks headquarters... I'm assuming there's a beer bong involved) but Sund actually managed to pull everything off we needed.

As Colin wrote below, we dispensed with Wesley/Radmanovic earlier (small note... Colin ragged on the episode where Riker brought that mind-control game aboard and Wesley fought it off. I loved that episode. Colin's bitter about much of our childhood and he's taking it out on poor Wesley). Suffice it to say that 6-11 men need to play within ten feet of the rim, not treat it like a rabid wolverine. Radmanovic wouldn't post up Luke Ridnour if he could. After all, you can't miss threes when you're posting. 6-11 men also should at least attempt defense. Radmanovic played defense like a prepubescent. I still can't believe Sund offered him 42 million for the opportunity to suck for seven years. I shudder at the thought. In return we get Chris Wilcox. Here's what we're looking for. Danny Fortson without the insanity. Wilcox has the talent. No one can dispute that. You're not a high first round pick without talent. Can he put that into action? We have playing time to give and he has a year to prove himself. He played well against Atlanta, but, well, Vlade could look good against Atlanta.

Next off we needed to get rid of Reggie Evans. If you are one of the five readers of this blog who can remember our Sonics offseason overview and beyond, I really wanted us to be rid of this man last year. I still have visions of the Spurs series. "And Reggie comes down with the offseason rebound. He pumps once, pumps twice, turns around, pumps, gets idiotic idea that he can beat Tim Duncan and Nazr Mohammed, throws up terrible shot that gets blocked, and runs back downcourt with stupid grin on face, prepared to be run over by a larger offensive player." Players like Reggie Evans come along in every draft. He wasn't worth the money he thought he wanted, especially when he decided this year that he was a low post scorer. Riiiight. A low post scorer like Colin is a dancer (see post below). When you have someone like Nick Collison who actually can score a putback and play better defense, Reggie becomes, how to do you say it, extremely expendable. We manage to pass him off to the Denver Nuggets, who get to find out the hard way what the word "sucker" means. Not only did Reggie go, but in the same trade we manage to send Vitaly Potapenko to... Portland. I would LOVE to have been a fly on the wall when Portland's GM discussed that one with Nate. "So Nate... we have managed to get Ruben Patterson out of your hair so you don't have to fear for your life anymore, much less that of any woman in the general vicinity. However, there is one eensy little snag." Nate: "Anything! I'm just so motherf***in glad to get rid of Patterson (editor's note: swearing added for cool effect). GM: "We had to trade for Vitaly Potapenko, who still has one more year left on his contract". Nate: "You're kidding me". GM: "No." Nate: "How long is my contract?" Vitaly basically ran like a giant melon this year, a giant sweaty melon with no hands. He apparently spent the offseason on the "Gavin Hesse" diet of McDonald's and Subway, because he was tired by the time the chest-bumping in the introductions were over. Then he discovered he had the vertical leap of my stool. So Reggie and Potapenko are gone. In return the Sonics received a second round pick (good trade bait or talent stockpiling), Bryon Russell (good ten years ago, will adorn our bench with manhood), and Earl Watson. I loved Earl Watson when we had him and was sorry to see him go. He is essentially a younger version of Antonio Daniels, which is why although the money is bad I'm excited about this. Watson gives us the ability to rest Luke or play that three-guard lineup that was so successful last year. He also can play enough defense with Damien Wilkins that perhaps we won't allow every guard this side of Dan Dickau to look like the next coming of Jesus. We also are sure to have Watson for another four years, which will help us when decision time comes around next year on Ridnour.

All was still not well with my soul. The trade deadline was almost upon us and one name was not yet off the Sonics roster. Then KJR broke the news and joy covered Seattle on yet ANOTHER rainy day (seriously, can we quit with the rain already? Come on. We've suffered enough). Ronald "Flip" Murray was gone for a second round pick (again, trade bait or talent stockpiling) and a benchwarmer (hereby named "That Guy" since we will not know "That Guy" enough to ever become emotionally attached) to the Cavaliers. That is just rich. Flip Murray playing with LeBron James. I'd love to see how James reacts to Murray's adventures with the basketball. Anyone remember those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? Here's my shot at a Flip Murray possession.

You dribble the ball upcourt, dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble. Coach calls in the play. You can either: A. Continue to dribble B. Consider passing C. Execute play flawlessly.

You have chosen "A". You continue to dribble. Dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble. The opposing team begins to realize that they don't actually have to play defense this possession. The shot clock hits 10. You can either: A. Continue to dribble B. Consider passing C. Execute play.

You have chosen "A". Your teammates begin to take a break and scan the crowd for booty, perhaps US Women's Curling Team. You decide to fake a drive and then dribble back out. The shot clock hits five. You can either: A. Throw up desperation fade-away B. Throw errant pass to magical elf you thought was on your team in the third row C. Drive to basket with no control to throw up desperation shot.

You have chosen "A". By the grace of all that's holy you were fouled. You will shoot two. You can decide to A: Miss both shots or B: Miss both shots.

You get the point? Murray was the Black Hole of basketball. A one-man show I haven't seen since my C-squad basketball team (you know who you were... Nick). Not to mention he played defense with the passion of a dead squirrel.

At the end of the day we get rid of a bunch of cancer, acquire talent, draft picks, and money, and are way better set up for the future. As Colin said, we now have:

PG: Luke Ridnour, Earl Watson
SG: Ray Allen, Damien Wilkins
SF: Rashard Lewis, Damien Wilkins
PF: Nick Collison, Chris Wilcox
C: Robert Swift, Johan Petro

That's a great nine man rotation, just about right for the NBA. There's scoring and defense. Now with some draft picks and such we can see what else needs to change and go from there. A big thumbs up from the Crushed Optimists to Rick Sund.

posted by Gavin @ 3:10 PM  3 comments


At 3:47 PM, Anonymous eric said...

Bets Murray possesion descripton I've seen, big thumbs up!

But in fairness to the Flipster, he'd make 1 of the 2 FTs:-)

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Gavin said...

You're probably right, he'd hit one of two. It's more fun to think of him missing them though. God, I can't wait to see him play with LeBron.

At 4:08 PM, Anonymous eric said...

Probably if they were down by 2 he'd make 1 of 2, if they were down by 1 he'd miss both:-)


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