Dec 31, 2005 6:00 AM EST
Throughout Damien Wilkins' first two seasons in the NBA, the needs of the Seattle SuperSonics have dictated how Wilkins has been used. This necessity has revealed Wilkins' ability to be an NBA regular, to play out of position at power forward and now to spend time playing point guard.
With the Sonics missing starting point guard Luke Ridnour because of nausea and backup Ronald "Flip" Murray hampered by two dislocated fingers on his shooting hand, Coach Bob Weiss turned to Wilkins as his backup point guard Wednesday in Minnesota and was pleasantly surprised when Wilkins scored a season-high 15 points and helped lead a second-half comeback by the Sonics.
"Wilkins came in and did a great job at backup point the last quarter of the game," said Weiss afterwards.
The performance earned Wilkins the nod as the starter for Thursday's nationally-televised tilt against the Denver Nuggets. Wilkins played 15 of his season-high 37 minutes at the point, finishing with 12 points, a career-high eight assists, a career-high-tying seven rebounds and three steals while playing outstanding defense as the Sonics came up with a 112-105 victory.
Dec 30, 2005 9:13 AM EST
In the wake of reports that the Seattle SuperSonics and Denver Nuggets are discussing a possible trade, Sonics All-Star guard Ray Allen said he thinks it may be time for general manager Rick Sund to alter the team?s chemistry a bit.
?You don?t always make a change just to be making a change,? Allen said. ?But I think based on just us going up and down, the team is put in a situation where they have to consider an opportunity to shake things up and make it better. Or if it doesn?t make it better, at least try.?
The Sonics have discussed a trade with the Nuggets that would send Ronald Murray to Denver in exchange for Earl Watson. Other players on the Sonics? roster would be involved to make the exchanged salaries balance.
Before the game Thursday, Murray warmed up on the court and was unavailable for comment.
Both Allen and co-captain Rashard Lewis acknowledged that Watson would be a better fit than Murray at reserve point guard. Allen cited the 14 assists the team had in its loss to Minnesota on Wednesday, a game Murray started in place of the injured Luke Ridnour.
?Bob (Weiss) has to make it a mandate to (Murray) that he has to start out (games) getting everybody involved,? Allen said. ?That has to be made a mandate. If a (trade) is made, if something happens, they have to come in here, learn who we have and distribute the ball.?
Lewis said Watson may be a better fit as the backup point guard.
?I like Flip as a player and as a person,? Lewis said. ?He is a great scorer. But I don?t know if the organization is looking for a scorer or a guy to run the point and play defense. It depends on what they are looking for. Earl is probably a better defender, more of a point guard.?
Dec 30, 2005 6:00 AM EST
News circulating that Ronald Murray could join the Denver Nuggets' lineup was surprising to the Sonics guard.
He sat atop the scorer's table at the Pepsi Center with a stunned look as he was told he could be traded for Nuggets guard Earl Watson, a former Sonic. The Sonics need a solid backup point guard, and the Nuggets could use Murray's scoring.
There are several problems with the rumor, however. The NBA's collective-bargaining agreement states the salaries of players being traded under this scenario must be within 25 percent of one another. Watson, who played for the Sonics in the 2001-02 season, will make $5 million this season, Murray $895,248. So more Sonics players would have to be lumped into the deal to make it work.
And Murray, who signed a one-year deal to test the free-agent market this summer, has the power to veto any trade.
"I don't know nothing about that," he said. "Denver is a nice organization. And I have a lot of respect for George Karl, him being my first coach in the NBA [with Milwaukee], but I don't know."
Murray said he wants to remain in Seattle.
Dec 29, 2005 4:54 PM EST
Seattle SuperSonics forward Danny Fortson was suspended for two games without pay Thursday for berating a referee and failing to promptly leave the court after an ejection.
The suspension began with Thursday night's game at Denver. He also will miss Saturday's home game against Memphis.
The punishment -- announced by Stu Jackson, the NBA's senior vice president basketball operations -- stemmed from Seattle's 108-95 loss at Minnesota on Wednesday night. Fortson was ejected with 7:13 remaining.
Dec 29, 2005 3:24 PM EST
Sonics officials indicated and coach Bob Weiss confirmed that point guard Rick Brunson will not be waived or bought out because of the team's lack of point guard depth. Brunson signed a guaranteed $1 million deal Aug. 5 but has been limited to four minutes because of a torn plantar fascia.
Because they have 15 players on the roster, the Sonics would have to waive a player to sign another point guard. Brunson was signed to be the primary backup point guard but that role has been shared by Flip Murray and Mateen Cleaves.
Dec 29, 2005 7:06 AM EST
The SuperSonics and Denver Nuggets are discussing a trade that would send Ronald ?Flip? Murray to Denver and bring former Sonics guard Earl Watson to Seattle, sources said Wednesday.
It is unclear if a trade will be consummated because the Nuggets (14-15) are talking with other teams in an attempt to upgrade a roster that many ? including coach George Karl ? predicted would win the Northwest Division.
Sonics general manager Rick Sund could not be reached for comment.
The Sonics would have to include several other players to complete a deal because Murray earns $895,000. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the salaries of players traded must be within 15 percent of each another. Watson, who signed a five-year, $29 million deal this summer, earns $5 million this season.
If the Sonics put together an offer of Murray, Mikki Moore, Rick Brunson and Mateen Cleaves or Reggie Evans, they could get close to the total needed to complete a deal for Watson, who left the Sonics via free agency in 2002.
Dec 29, 2005 1:14 AM EST
Seattle guard Luke Ridnour missed the SuperSonics' game at Minnesota on Wednesday night because of a chest contusion.
Ridnour, averaging 10.1 points, was hurt last Friday against Dallas. He didn't travel with the team to Minnesota, but a team spokesman said it was possible Ridnour would meet the team Thursday in Denver.
Ridnour played 13 minutes in Monday's victory over Boston.
Ronald Murray started in Ridnour's spot against Minnesota despite two dislocated fingers on his right shooting hand.
Dec 27, 2005 9:24 PM EST
Sonics guard Ronald "Flip" Murray has dislocations of two fingers on his right hand and will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis before three Seattle games this week.
Murray scored a season-high 29 points off the bench Monday in the Sonics' 118-111 win over Boston. But he collided with Celtic Ricky Davis for a loose ball late in the game.
X-rays taken late Monday were negative. Murray then had further tests Tuesday before the team left for games Wednesday and Thursday at Minnesota and Denver. The tests confirmed the original diagnosis of dislocations of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints ? the knuckles ? of the ring and middle fingers on Murray's right hand.
Dec 19, 2005 6:46 PM EST
Seattle SuperSonics forward Rashard Lewis pleaded innocent Monday to a drunken driving charge.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. The next pretrial hearing is Jan. 19.
Lewis' lawyer won a ruling during a hearing when the judge agreed the player's breath tests won't be used as evidence. Prosecutor spokesman Dan Donohoe said the case will be prosecuted based on field sobriety tests.
Lewis failed field sobriety and breath tests Sept. 30 after he was stopped by a trooper on Interstate 90. Lewis was charged Dec. 5 with driving under the influence of alcohol.
Dec 19, 2005 3:08 PM EST
It appears that Vladimir Radmanovic is going to stay with the Seattle SuperSonics for the rest of the season.
Radmanovic?s agent, David Bauman, said the fifth-year forward will neither seek a trade nor allow the Sonics to trade him because it would not be to Radmanovic?s financial advantage. He becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer. Radmanovic turned down a six-year, $42 million offer from the Sonics last summer.
?We will not push for a trade because it is not in his best interest,? Bauman said. ?If Vlade was a mid-level guy or less, we would be looking at trades. For a guy like ? Flip Murray, in the last year of (his) deal, he should look at that. For a guy like Vlade, who wants more than the mid-level, the only way to do it is to do a sign-and-trade or do it with a team that has cap room.?
Under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, if Radmanovic is traded, the team he goes to loses his ?Bird rights,? meaning it can pay him only up to the mid-level exception of an estimated $5 million next summer.
With Seattle holding Radmanovic?s Bird rights, it could pay him whatever it wanted. Or, it could construct a sign-and-trade deal with another team and get something in return.
The new collective bargaining agreement also allows players who have signed one-year tender offers, as Radmanovic did for $3.2 million, to veto any trade they do not want.
?If we lose our Bird rights, we lose a bargaining chip, and so do the Sonics,? Bauman said. ?The Sonics could probably get more in a sign-and-trade (next summer) then they could right now.?
Oklahoma City Thunder Archives
If Isiah Thomas can't land Ron Artest, with the Pacers intent on sending the wayward swingman to the West, look for him to pursue Seattle's Rashard Lewis.
Vladimir Radmanovic, Ronald Murray and Reggie Evans are likely to be tossed around in trade rumors on Thursday when players who signed contracts over the summer can be traded.
Dec 10, 2005 | Press Release
Dec 10, 2005 | Seattle Times
Dec 07, 2005 | Seattle PI
?I?d like to meet the cop who arrested him. I know he is doing his job, but I still think he is a (jerk)." -- Knicks center Jerome James on the arrest of former teammate Rashard Lewis
Dec 05, 2005 | Seattle Times
Seattle Supersonics star forward Rashard Lewis was charged today with drunken driving, according to the King County Prosecutor.
Dec 05, 2005 | Seattle Times
Dec 05, 2005 | Seattle Times
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