Team Review: 2016/17
Since it’s the end of the season, I thought I would give everyone an insight to how each player on the roster performed and what the current thoughts are regarding their future with the franchise.
71 GP (64 GS) – 16.4PPG – 7.9APG – 1.2SPG - .426 FG - .357 3PT
Of all the players that have benefitted from moving to Seattle, I think Patrick Mills tops the list. In San Antonio, he was always in the shadow of the big three and emerging superstar Kawhi Leonard. In Seattle, Mills has been given the chance to run an offence and potentially be a franchise player.
Mills has done well taking on a larger role. He led the team in points and assists, and wasn’t afraid to step up in the clutch moments of the game. And with his contract extension signed earlier in the season, the people of Seattle will likely get to see the best Patty can offer in this league for the next few seasons.
Mills signed an extension earlier in the season and is a big part of the Sonics’ plans moving forward.
82 GP (82 GS) – 15.4PPG – 2.1RPG – 1.1APG - .487 FG - .350 3PT
With mercurial talents like Patrick Mills and Nick Young, Arron Afflalo is the steadying influence the Seattle Sonics have needed. AAA has generally gone about his business without a fuss and has been one of the most consistent performers for the re-emerged franchise. However, don’t take that as a suggestion that he can’t pour in the points. After all, he currently has the franchise record for points in a game (53).
AAA has a team option that the Sonics will most likely exercise.
65 GP (65 GS) – 12.2PPG – 4.4RPG – 1.1SPG - .522 FG - .378 3PT
Wilson Chandler is a great complementary player. He can score from inside and out, defend both forward positions, and can play significant minutes, as his franchise record for minutes in a game (52) can attest to. Chandler’s versatility solves a lot of dilemmas the Sonics can potentially have and it makes him an X-Factor in any game he plays.
Wilson is under contract for next season.
75 GP (46 GS) – 14.1PPG – 6.1RPG - .8BPG - .551 FG - .315 FG
Along with Patty Mills, Andrew Nicholson was another breakout player for the Seattle Sonics in their first year back. Starting the season as a backup to Amir Johnson, Nicholson capitalised on his opportunities when Johnson was injured. He proved himself to be a consistent force on offence, which moved him quickly up the pecking order to be the second or third option for the Sonics.
Nicholson is under contract for the next two seasons and has a player option for an additional season. Since his production far outweighs how much he’s getting paid ($13M in total over the next two seasons), it’s unlikely that he will be a trade chip any time soon.
82 GP (82 GS) – 8.8PPG – 10.1RPG – 2.5BPG - .698 FG
Bogut is the centre that every team needs. He doesn’t demand the ball, or even care about his stats in general. He’s just focused on making the right plays that help his team on both ends. But it is his defensive play that makes him so valuable to the team. Bogut has been the defensive spine of the Sonics and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Throughout the 16-17 season, Bogut was among the top 5 players being considered for the Defensive Player of the Year award. With his form getting even better towards the end of the season, Bogut will be a key figure in the Sonics’ playoff run.
AB signed a 3-year extension earlier in the season, so he’s not going anywhere.
82 GP – 7.2PPG – 8.8RPG – 1.8BPG - .768 FG
The centre rotation has been a model of consistency, and Boban Marjanovic is half the reason why that was the case. When Bogut went to the bench, the Sonics lost nothing when Boban walked onto the court. His rebounding and block numbers aren’t far away from Bogut’s and it is the belief of the front office that Boban will eventually be the starting centre for the Sonics. For now, though, he is one helluva backup.
Boban has a very reasonable contract for a player as productive as he is. He’s not going anywhere.
51 GP (6 GS) – 7.5PPG – 5.3APG – 1.2SPG - .517 FG - .153 3PT
Despite losing a significant amount of games through injury, Shaun Livingston had a solid season as the backup point guard for the Sonics. He offers something completely different to Mills: he’s a tall, pass-first point guard, that can defend three different positions. The only reason why he’s not a starter is because his shooting range is relatively limited - but aside from that, he’s a great backup point guard for what the Sonics are looking to achieve.
Due to some stalling by the Sonics’ front office, Livingston is an unrestricted free agent this season. But despite arriving at an impasse on contract extension talks, Livingston still appears to have the desire to be re-signed by the Sonics. As far as retaining players, Livingston will likely be the priority for the Sonics this offseason.
58 GP (21 GS) – 9PPG – 5.2RPG – 0.9BPG - .558 FG - .203 3PT
It was a pretty unlucky season for Amir Johnson. After the expansion draft, Johnson was predicted to be one of Seattle’s key players – potentially a second or third option. Unfortunately, his initial injury and the emergence of Andrew Nicholson relegated Johnson to the bench for most of the season.
Johnson had a good season from the bench for the Sonics. He helped solidify the Sonics’ defence and rebounding, and was a pretty solid scorer without having many plays run for him.
Johnson will be an unrestricted free agent. He’s earning $12M this season and will likely be looking for an opportunity to be a starting power forward once again. Both the salary and the role expectations might deter the Sonics from retaining his services.
71 GP – 9.8PPG – 1.4RPG – 0.6APG - .503 FG - .392 3PT
Nick Young really came out of nowhere to be one of the surprise performers off the bench. He started outside of the rotation, but Swaggy P couldn’t be denied after some explosive performances. Young can be the star on any given night, but his lack of consistency is what keeps him from being one of the league’s offensive stars. Right now, his best role is off the bench as a microwave and it’s one he excelled in through various games over the season. The biggest question is, which Nick Young will we see in the playoffs?
The ball is in Young’s court this offseason, as he has a player option worth $5.67M. He could potentially opt out and go for a larger, long-term contract, or stay on with the Sonics and continue to be a microwave for a team on the rise. While the Sonics are unlikely to offer him the large contract he could ask for, they would be more than happy to retain him if he exercises his player option.
77 GP (17 GS) – 7.3PPG – 1.4RPG – 0.9APG - .505 FG - .331 3PT
VC had a great backend of the season and he looks like a player who could still have a season left in the tank. Every now and then, we see flashes of the Vinsanity that enraptured the NBA fans earlier in Carter’s career, but for the most part, he’s used primarily as a spot-up shooter.
For a guy who was mostly known for his explosive athleticism in his prime, Carter has adapted his game extremely well for his twilight years in the NBA.
Vince announced his retirement earlier in the season, but has since expressed a desire to play on for an extra season with the Sonics. If he’s willing to accept the veteran’s minimum, there’s every chance Vinsanity could be back for another campaign in Seattle.
59 GP (12 GS) – 6.3PPG – 5.2APG – 1SPG - .386 FG - .354 3PT
With Patty Mills and Shaun Livingston getting injured at various time during the season (at one point, at the same time), David Stockton was thrown in the deep end early. Early on he made a case for the Most Improved Player award, as he did an admirable job as the team’s playmaker. The play of Stockton even made the Sonics stall on their extension talks with Shaun Livingston. However, as the season went on, Stockton’s numbers came back down to Earth and eventually he found himself out of the rotation. Issues with turnovers and modest shooting percentages were probably his biggest downfall.
Since Stockton only played two career games beforehand, the 16-17 season could be seen as a step in the right direction for the Spokane native. But it might not be enough for the Sonics to seriously consider retaining him.
Stockton is an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. He has expressed his interest in testing the market and the Sonics will probably take the opportunity to upgrade their third point guard option.
40 GP (14 GS) – 7.1PPG – 2.6RPG – 0.5BPG - .417 FG - .269 3PT
Tony Snell showed a lot of promise at the beginning of his time with the Sonics. In fact, when Wilson Chandler got injured, Snell was rushed into the starting lineup and looked the part with some impressive games. However, Snell was relatively overlooked when Wilson Chandler came back from injury and his limited playing time didn’t really allow him to perform with any consistency.
Snell is an unrestricted free agent. He wants to stay, but it’s likely that the Sonics will look elsewhere.
31 GP – 4PPG – 2.1RPG - 0.3BPG - .762 FG
With the often-injured Andrew Bogut and sophomore-centre Boban Marjanovic ahead of him in the rotation, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to believe that the Birdman would have had more opportunities this season. However, both Bogut and Marjanovic stayed healthy throughout the regular season, and proved to be one of the best defensive centre rotations in the league.
Andersen was fairly solid in the limited minutes he was given this season. He’s still a strong rebounder and rim protector, and like the other centres on the team, he shot a high percentage from the field – albeit, from mostly layups and dunks. In any case, he’s a solid veteran presence to have on the end of the bench.
Birdman will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Since he probably won’t be asking for more than the veteran minimum, it’s probable that Andersen will be offered a contract by the Sonics - that’s if he chooses to play on.
19 GP – 4.5PPG – 2.2RPG – 0.6APG - .500 FG - .071 3PT
Nick Collison was the sentimental pick in the expansion draft and was always just going to be in the roster as an insurance policy. Collison was okay in the few games he did play… even if he took a few too many threes.
Collison is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He’s another one of those guys the Sonics could retain for the veteran minimum. However, the Sonics are likely to weigh up the options before deciding to re-sign Collison.
36 GP (1 GS) – 5.4PPG – 1.3RPG – 0.7APG - .437 FG - .392 3PT
Kevin Martin had some moments in the inaugural Sonics season. He completed the first 4-point play for the re-emerged franchise and generally shot pretty well for a guy who was used purely as a spot-up shooter. However, with both Arron Afflalo and Vince Carter proving to be durable and slightly more productive, Martin was quickly relegated to the Injury Reserve list when the team was at full strength.
K-Mart is an unrestricted free agent. While it’s a possibility that the Sonics could retain him, it’s probably more likely that the Sonics will look to either draft a combo guard or sign a younger free agent.
"Kidd is currently absent due to hip surgery. But clearly, he should be fired, and replaced by a coaching staff consisting of Vin Baker, Eric Murdock, and Lee Mayberry." - Andrew