When most NBA analysts assess what the Sonics' management team should do with the existing Sacramento Kings roster once the franchise moves north, the clear consensus is "gut it." But is that really possible? And, furthermore, in doing the gutting, would it be possible to acquire a roster filled entirely by players with high school, collegiate or professional ties to Seattle?
The answer, amazingly, is yes, and with the help of ESPN's Trade Machine, below is a deal-by-deal guide for how the relaunched Supes can be reconstructed to instantly appeal to the natives.
The Kings' current 14-man roster is as follows:
Guards: Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette, Aaron Brooks, Tyreke Evans, Francisco Garcia, Marcus Thornton.
Forwards: John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, Thomas Robinson, James Johnson, Travis Outlaw, Tyler Honeycutt.
Centers: DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson.
Evans and Johnson are free agents after this season, so the new Supes should let them walk. Conversely, Brooks (Franklin High School) and Thomas (UW) each have strong Seattle ties, so they should be retained, even if their mighty mite capabilities are somewhat redundant. Nate McMillan (duh) will return to the sidelines as the Sonics' head coach, and Kevin Calabro (double duh) and ex-Sonic John Crotty will call the action on radio and TV.
Next, you execute the following trades in succession, all of which work when plugged into the Trade Machine (granted, if they were all taken together, a different collective result might ensue, but why let that spoil our fun?):
Honeycutt for Rashard Lewis (ex-Sonic)
Fredette for Martell Webster (Seattle Prep)
Thompson for Jason Terry (Franklin High)
Cousins for Earl Watson (ex-Sonic) and Jerramy Evans
Outlaw for Luke Ridnour (ex-Sonic)
Robinson for Nick Collison (ex-Sonic)
Salmons for Jeff Green (ex-Sonic)
Hayes for Spencer Hawes (Seattle Prep, UW)
Thornton & Garcia for Kevin Durant (ex-Sonic)
Evans has no Seattle ties and limited upside, so Supe brass would then either trade him for a future draft pick or cut his modest salary outright, leaving Seattle with a pre-draft head count of 11:
Guards: Thomas, Brooks, Terry, Ridnour, Watson
Forwards: Durant, Green, Webster, Lewis
Centers: Hawes, Collison
The roster would swell to 12 with the addition of a first-round draft choice (preferably a big man, considering how perimeter-heavy the reconstructed roster is), with the final two benchwarmers emerging from a training camp demolition derby which would include the team's second-round draft choice along with former Sonics/Huskies--all low-cost free-agents-to-be--Mickael Gelabale, Johan Petro, Chris Wilcox, Damien Wilkins, Vladimir Radmanovic, Kurt Thomas, Reggie Evans, Robert Swift, Ansu Sesay, Delonte West, Olumide Oyedeji, Antonio Daniels, Nate Robinson, Justin Dentmon, Jon Brockman, Will Conroy, Ryan Appleby, Flip Murray, and a comeback-minded Shawn Kemp.
Whoever doesn't make it from that bunch ends up on the Sonics' expansion D-League team, the Tacoma Aroma.