Sonics get No. 4 draft pick

Tuesday, May 20th 2008, 10:47 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) -- Kevin Durant couldn't bring the Seattle SuperSonics the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

Instead, the Sonics will draft No. 4 in next month's draft after Tuesday night's NBA draft lottery. The Sonics had the second-best chance of landing the No. 1 pick, but instead fell two spots as the Chicago Bulls moved up and got the top pick in the draft.

Last year, the Sonics moved up from fifth to second in the draft lottery and were able to snare Durant, who became the first rookie of the year in franchise history after averaging 20.3 points in the Sonics' disappointing season. Durant was the Sonics' representative at Tuesday night's lottery in Secaucus, N.J., but wasn't able to bring the team luck this time.

Whomever Seattle drafts with the fourth pick is unlikely to be part of another major offseason makeover by general manager Sam Presti. The Sonics have six picks in this year's draft, including the 24th pick of the first round (part of a trade with Phoenix) and four second round selections. Presti is unlikely to hold on to all of those selections, meaning another offseason of wheeling and dealing ahead.

Seattle has another two first-round picks in each of the 2009 and 2010 drafts.

Presti took over just before the 2007 draft and proceeded to make deals sending Ray Allen to Boston and Rashard Lewis to Orlando as part of a sign-and-trade. Those moves assured another losing season for the Sonics, who finished a franchise-worst 20-62.

Also looming over the lead-up to the draft is the pending trial between the city of Seattle and the SuperSonics, as the team tries to escape the final two years of its lease at KeyArena and begin playing in Oklahoma City in the fall. The trial is scheduled to begin June 1 and wrap up before the draft on June 26.

Seattle had an almost 39 percent chance of landing one of the top two picks. That likely would have brought the Sonics either Memphis guard Derrick Rose or Kansas State forward Michael Beasley. Rose and Beasley are expected to be the top two picks, rising above the rest of the draft class like Durant and Ohio State's Greg Oden did last year.

Now the Sonics must spend their time evaluating a large pool of players that could include the likes of Arizona's Jerryd Bayless, Stanford's Brook Lopez, USC's O.J. Mayo or UCLA's Kevin Love -- all Pac-10 stars.