Interesting stuff this Friday morning from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Art Thiel, who quotes King County executive Ron Sims predicting the Emerald City’s long-term NBA future lies not in keeping the Sonics, but in convincing the owners of another failing franchise (New Orleans, Memphis) to move. As for Seattle’s present present hoops team, Sims figures the situation to be hopeless.

“David Stern is not going to stand in Clay Bennett’s way, because Stern likes his teams to be able to move,” Sims said by phone Thursday. “Bennett (above) so far does not want to sell, since he has six first-round draft picks over the next few seasons and likes what he has.”

Even in the likely event of a June defeat in federal court for his attempt to get out of the club’s KeyArena lease, Bennett, in Sims’ view, will endure the necessary losses to relocate the team in 2010 to his hometown of Oklahoma City.

Super Sonic Soul’s Peter Nussbaum
would probably change the word “endure” to “embrace” as the current Sonics seem to exist purely to build a foundation in another market.

The franchise of Payton, Kemp, Gus, DJ, Lenny, Haywood, Rule, Mac-10, Karl, Sam … reduced to a probable 22-win season, and this coming off consecutive 30-odd win seasons?

I don’t think it would be unrealistic to expect the Sonics to enter the lottery again next spring, considering the odds of them picking up any true help this summer is somewhere between slim and none. Short of dealing away the entire non-Durant portion of the roster for more expiring contracts, this team just doesn’t look capable of winning 30 games next year, either.

Thanks alot, NBA. I didn’t know it was possible to destroy a 40-year-old business in the span of two years, but, well, when you’ve got Clay Bennett doing David Stern’s dirty work, I guess anything is possible.