10 Seattle Supersonics The season hasn't started and already the backup plan is in effect

October 27, 2003

When rookie Nick Collison, the No. 12 pick from Kansas, underwent
season-ending shoulder surgery early in training camp, the Sonics
turned to Plan B: making 6'10", third-year man Vladimir
Radmanovic their starting power forward.

Radmanovic, 22, prefers to play small forward, but now accepts
that he cannot take that spot from Rashard Lewis, who will earn a
guaranteed $53.8 million over the next six seasons. But since
coming to Seattle from Serbia and Montenegro as the No. 12 choice
in 2001, Radmanovic has wanted to do more than stand on the
perimeter and knock down the occasional jumper. "There are times
when some players want a bigger role, and it bothers them that
they don't get it," says coach Nate McMillan. "He has to accept
that the ball is going to Ray Allen and Lewis most of the time."

Radmanovic's icy relationship with his coaches made him the
subject of trade talks before the draft in June. When those
negotiations fell through, Radmanovic attempted to get back in
the team's good graces by spending most of the summer training in
Seattle. Eventually McMillan and Radmanovic came to an
understanding: Radmanovic will be allowed more offensive freedom
as long as he does the banging and board work that the team had
expected from Collison.

The Sonics aren't going to win with defense, so they'll need
Radmanovic's ability to score and create plays to keep pace. "The
last two seasons they've wanted me to wait in the corner and
spread out the defense," he says. "Now the coach is telling me
that he's going to give me the ball and let me do more things in
the paint. That's the promise he made, but it's also on me to
make good decisions and build confidence with my coaches and
teammates." --Ian Thomsen

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH Vladimir Radmanovic COLOR PHOTO: JEFF REINKING/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (ALLEN) SONIC BOOM Seattle perked up last February after the arrival of Allen, a seamless fit in the offense and the locker room.

ENEMY LINES
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Sonics

"In Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Brent Barry and Vladimir Radmanovic
they have probably the best group of four shooters on one team in
the NBA. Each is capable of hitting five three-pointers in a
game. One night the Sonics might score 115, but the next night,
if the jumpers aren't dropping, they won't reach 80.... Despite
all those scorers, they play an unselfish style with excellent
ball movement. Seattle is up there with Sacramento and San
Antonio among the best passing teams.... The Sonics were 18-12
after their trade for Allen, who is the best in the NBA at coming
off a screen, catching the pass and going straight up with his
shot. There used to be friction between Gary Payton and the other
Seattle players, but they all seem to accept that Allen is the
focal point.... Lewis has supplemented his perimeter game with
some decent post-up moves and his scoring has improved each of
his five years in the league.... Radmanovic gets compared with
Dirk Nowitzki, but early in his career Nowitzki developed a
post-up game that he used to exploit mismatches. Radmanovic won't
be a consistent player until he is able to do that.... They don't
have good individual defenders, yet they'll play decent team
defense. Take Barry: He's one of the poorest one-on-one defenders
you'll find, but at 6'6" with long arms he's a very good help
defender. Look for them to play a lot of matchup zones....
Eventually Luke Ridnour, the Number 1 pick from Oregon, is going
to take over at the point, and he'll be a good fit with their
up-tempo style. But Antonio Daniels is the only Sonic who can
defend the good point guards.... Calvin Booth is one of the
biggest free-agent busts in the league. They signed him in 2001
and he's getting $24.5 million over the next four years, but I
can't see what he's going to give them in return."

FAST FACT

With a league-leading 201 three-point field goals, Ray Allen
became the first player to make 200 or more treys three times.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
with 2002-03 statistics

Record: 40-42 (10th in West)
Points scored: 92.1 (23rd in NBA)
Points allowed: 92.3 (6th)
Coach: Nate McMillan (fourth season with Sonics)

JEROME JAMES

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% FT%
C 202 5.4 4.2 0.5 1.61 0.24 47.8 58.7

RASHARD LEWIS

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
SF 51 18.1 6.5 1.7 1.29 45.2 34.6 82.0

BRENT BARRY

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
PG 88 10.3 4.0 5.1 1.51 45.8 40.3 79.5

RAY ALLEN

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
SG 20 22.5 5.0 4.4 1.36 43.9 37.7 91.6

VLADIMIR RADMANOVIC

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% 3FG%
PF 150 10.1 4.5 1.3 0.31 0.89 41.0 35.5

BENCH PVR* 2002-03 KEY STATS

G[1] ANTONIO 172 3.7 ppg 1.3 apg 0.49 spg 45.2 FG% 30.5 3FG%
DANIELS
F REGGIE 230 3.2 ppg 6.6 rpg 0.57 spg 47.1 FG% 51.9 FT%
EVANS
F ANSU 266 2.1 ppg 1.6 rpg 0.5 apg 0.31 spg 38.3 FG%
SESAY
G[1] LUKE 268 19.7 ppg 3.4 rpg 6.6 apg 1.91 spg 43.2 FG%
RIDNOUR(R)
C-F VITALY 274 4.0 ppg 3.4 rpg 0.31 bpg 44.1 FG% 75.9 FT%
POTAPENKO

NEW ACQUISITION[1]
(R) Rookie (statistics for final college season)
*PVR: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 94)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)