The Sonics are cleaning house, or at least rearranging the furniture. Coach Bob Hill's contract has not been renewed, and GM Rick Sund has been reassigned into oblivion. (Wonder if he has to humiliatingly clean out a nice office and move to a shabby cube?) Lenny Wilkens and Clayton Bennett will lead the search for replacements.
Don't lose sight of the fact that the Sonics are sitting on an excellent draft pick. ("To Yi or not to Yi? That is the question.") They need someone to run the draft which is coming up shortly. There must be pressure to get someone installed quickly.
Mike Seely of Seattle Weekly explains his take on his Buzzer Beater blog:
Hill's shortcomings, in my opinion, were his lack of sophisticated offensive sets that emphasized ball movement, getting his team to play consistently vigilant D, and failure to settle upon a mildly effective rotation until too far into the season. The latter is somewhat understandable due to: (a) injuries to Robert Swift, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis and (b) the parts he was given to work with by the inept Sund, whose affinity for (addiction to?) drafting raw, teenage seven-footers and signing undersized white role players (Ridnour, Collison) to cap-hampering multi-year extensions have turned the Supes' roster into a materially flawed, blow-it-up-or-else proposition.
As for who might replace Hill and Sund, the names people keep floating are Rick Adelman and Lenny Wilkens, respectively. Sorry, not interested. Defensive-minded ex-T'Wolf coach (and ex-Sonic associate head coach) Dwane Casey is the only candidate for the floor job, in my opinion. And it'd be nice to pluck a young comer from the front office of an innovative, perennial playoff team like San Antonio rather than give the keys to an affable has-been like Wilkens, who is said to have approved of the Mo Sene selection in last year's first round. That right there should be enough to disqualify him from consideration.
The only surprise is they didn't do it four months ago. (Of course, that would have meant the owners were interested in winning in Seattle which, obviously, they weren't.)
That last little jab at the owners is just the rant of a raving fan, right? Not when you consider Bennett's comments in the official press release were barely two paragraphs long, but he still managed to sound an ominous tone about the team's future in Seattle:
"While there is uncertainty as to the future physical location of our franchise, our commitment to creating a culture of competitive excellence for this organization is unwavering. We absolutely aspire to win championships."
Seems to me that if you're talking like that, you should be giving honest answers to questions like "where are you moving?" and "when?"