Moments In Time – Seattle Sonics
The Sonics have had a few busts in their history, but the biggest may not have been a bust but a trade when they drafted Scottie Pippen with the 5th pick in the 1987 draft and immediately traded him to Chicago where he had a pretty decent career.
Rich King – 1991
King was taken 14th by the Sonics and they thought they had found their center, as hewas 7’2″ and in his last 2 years at Nebraska he put up solid numbers averaging around 16 ppg and 8 rpg. He played in only 40 games in his rookie season and averaged 2.2 ppg, which were his highest totals in 4 years on the team.
Injuries derailed his career in which he only played in a grand total of 72 games.
Mouhamed Sene 2006
Sene was yet another center that never panned out for the Sonics. He was taken 10th overall from Senegal. He was more than raw and in his rookie season he averaged 1.9 ppg and 1.6 rpg and did not improve much on those numbers in his 2nd season (2.3 ppg 1.2 rpg).
All in all he only played in 41 games for the Sonics and then 5 for the Thunder before being sent down to the D-League and then waived.
Robert Swift -2004
Swift was the 12th pick by Seattle in 2004 and in his rookie season averaged 0.9 ppg. Still, he came out of high school and many in the Great Northwest thought he would be a legit C after averaging 6.4 ppg in his 2nd year, but he only played in 47 games.
Before the 3rd season he tore his ACL and the team did not bring him back after his rookie contract expired.
Vladimir Stepania – 1998
Stepania was the first player from Georgia to ever play in the NBA and while he played decent in his rookie season averaging 5.5 ppg and 3.3 rpg he regressed in his 2nd season where he was buried on the bench and only averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg.
Obviously not good numbers for a 7-foot center.
Frank Oleynick – 1976
Oleynick was supposed to be the hometown college boy done good for the Sonics, as he was the 12th pick in the 1976 draft out of Seattle College.
However, in only 2 seasons in Seattle he regressed after scoring 5.2 ppg in his rookie season to scoring 4 ppg in his 2nd season and those were the only 2 seasons he played in the NBA.