As the Sonics research their fourth pick in the coming NBA draft they are likely to focus on three Pac-10 players: center/forward Brook Lopez of Stanford, guard Jerryd Bayless of Arizona or guard O.J. Mayo of USC ... according to TNT Sonics writer Eric D. Williams in today's paper.
Given the current Sonics needs, I wouldn't consider Mayo. I can see advantages to either Lopez or Bayless. But considering the Sonics' apparent curse on big men ... plus my answer in the Oakland Tribune's annual Pac-10 survey that Bayless will have the best pro career of anyone in the league ... I guess I'd lean to the Wildcat.
Here's the way Eric previews it:
With the No. 4 pick overall in this year's NBA draft, here are three players the Sonics may be interested in come June 26.
Brook Lopez, Stanford
7-0, 260, center
The skinny: Lopez's stock has risen since he played well in the NCAA tournament, leading the Cardinal to the Sweet 16. Lopez has a big body and a soft shooting touch from the perimeter and around the basket. He's a decent defender, but may lack the explosiveness to be a feared shot-blocker in the NBA.
Jerryd Bayless, Arizona
6-3, 190, point guard
The skinny: An ultra-quick, explosive guard who likes to play up-tempo and has unlimited range, Bayless would be a nice complement to Kevin Durant in the backcourt. However, Bayless has a score-first mentality and will have to work to become a better distributor and floor leader.
O.J. Mayo, USC
6-4, 195, guard
The skinny: Off-the-court issues involving his agent have affected his stock, but Mayo has an NBA-ready body and is considered one of the most talented players in the draft. He's one of the best pure scorers coming out of college, but he may have trouble finding shots with Durant already in the fold.