Kevin Pelton, SUPERSONICS.COM
| July 26, 2006
For the Seattle SuperSonics, the goal of their participation in the Rocky Mountain Revue summer league was simple: See how close first-round pick Mouhamed Sene
is to contributing and accelerate that process by getting Sene court time and experience with NBA rules and officiating.
To that extent, it wasn't ideal that Sene missed a pair of games after rolling his left ankle before returning for the Sonics final game. While Sene's Revue was shorter than anticipated, it was still highly productive. Sene finished with averages of 8.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game in 23 minutes, impressing many of the experts gathered in Salt Lake City.
"He's in the right position most of the time, he has tremendous quickness off the floor and anticipates where to get blocked shots from."
"He's in the right position most of the time, he has tremendous quickness off the floor and anticipates where to get blocked shots from," Utah assistant Tyrone Corbin
, who coached the Jazz's summer-league entry, told ESPN.com
Sene's best game came against the Jazz, who were strongly considering taking the 7-0 center had the Sonics not selected him ahead of Utah's 14th pick. Playing largely against two-year veteran and lottery pick Rafael Araujo, Sene had 13 points, six rebounds and five blocks. He sealed the Sonics 76-75 win by forcing Utah rookie Ronnie Brewer - whom the Sonics seriously considered with the 10th pick - to float his running attempt too high with seconds to play.
"He'd been blocking shots the whole game," Brewer told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I've seen him play; I knew that was one of his strengths. . . . He caused a lot of problems."
Coming into summer league, the expectation was that Sene would be more raw than the Sonics last two first-round picks, teenage centers Johan Petro and Robert Swift. However, Sene outperformed their rookie summer-league performance. Petro struggled with foul trouble and averaged 2.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks. Swift averaged 4.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.5 blocks.
Swift traveled to Salt Lake City with the expectation that he would practice with the summer-league squad and watch games, but when Sene was injured, Swift stepped in to replace him. For the Sonics final game, Swift and Sene started together against Dallas' DJ Mbenga and Pavel Podkolzin. Swift shot just 42.9% from the field but had a big game against Philadelphia, finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. Sene (15) and Swift (11) finished the Revue one-two in blocked shots.
The most productive member of the Sonics Revue entry was guard Andre Emmett. Emmett was drafted by the Sonics in 2004 for the Memphis Grizzlies, who acquired him in a deal that evening. Emmett got a multi-year contract from the Grizzlies, but there was little room for him in the team's deep rotation, and he played just 28 minutes as a rookie before being included in a five-team trade last summer sending him to Miami. The Heat cut Emmett after training camp, and he spent the season playing for Austin in the D-League, averaging 12.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Emmett earned First Team All-Revue honors after leading the Sonics with 12.5 points and 2.3 steals per game. Emmett, a slasher by trade, was very effective from midrange, hitting 57.7% of his shot attempts to rank second in the Revue.
It was another wing, former USC guard/forward Desmon Farmer, who proved the Sonics mot explosive player in the Revue. Farmer led the team in scoring twice, going off for 27 points on 9-for-13 shooting (5-for-8 from 3-point range) against Atlanta and closing the Revue with 22 points on 7-for-14 shooting (4-for-7 from 3) against Dallas. Farmer, who averaged 16.3 points on 43% 3-point shooting last year for Tulsa of the NBADL, led all Revue players with 11 3-pointers, hitting them at a 52.4% clip.
The lone Sonics veteran on the roster for the entirety of the Revue was forward Noel Felix, who ranked sixth in the Revue with 4.3 rebounds per game. Felix, who first played for the Sonics last summer in Utah, was content to let his teammates show their stuff on offense, averaging 7.3 points per game. He added six blocks in as many games.
Second-round picks Yotam Halperin and Paccelis Morlende shared point-guard duties with Keith Langford going into summer-league play, but Morlende suffered a quad injury and played just two games. Langford's Kansas teammate, Aaron Miles, joined the Sonics for the final two games and totaled 23 points and seven assists. Langford excelled at getting to the free-throw line, attempting as many free throws as field goals (21), but handed out just two assists. Morlende struggled with turnovers, committing six in 24 minutes. Halperin showed his strengths and weaknesses in his first NBA experience. He ranked fifth in the Revue with 3.0 assists per game (7.4 per 40 minutes), but quickness was an issue for Halperin defensively.
The Sonics other second-round pick, UConn guard Denham Brown, found his minutes limited by the number of wing players who excelled for the Sonics. (In addition to Farmer and Emmett, Cincinnati product Tony Bobbitt finished fourth on the team in scoring at 8.6 points per game, shooting 53.1% from the field and 50% from 3-point range.) Brown really struggled the first two games, shooting a combined 3-for-19 from the field, but bounced back to post 17 points on 8-for-9 shooting against Utah. Brown finished summer play averaging 7.8 points per game, but shot just 36.0% from the field.