Top 10 Seattle Supersonics/OKC Thunder of All-Time

Top 10 Seattle Supersonics/OKC Thunder of All-Time

sonics--thunder-logo

Oklahoma City Thunder

“Sonics“


Honorable Mentions:

20. Vin Baker

19. James Harden

18. Detlef Schrempf

17. Nate McMillan

16. Serge Ibaka

15. Bob Rule

14. Xavier McDaniel

13. Tom Chambers

12. Lenny Wilkins

11. Gus Williams

 

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10. Rashard Lewis

Seasons in Seattle:

9 (1998-2007)

Stats w/ the Sonics

16.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.7 Stocks, 46.1 FG%

Taken out of high school and spending the first nine years of his career in Seattle, Rashard Lewis made a name for himself as one of the league’s most feared shooting stretch bigs. At 6’10”, Lewis played as Seattle’s small forward and would assist the team as one of their primary perimeter threats. Once Ray Allen arrived from Milwaukee, the tandem would combine to form one of the league’s most feared offenses – one of the leagues best outside shooting teams as well. Lewis would average as much as 22.4 points, coming in his final season with Seattle, and would shoot as well as 43 percent from beyond the arc, need I mentioned again that he is 6’10”. In his first year making the All-Star team in 2005, Lewis would average over 20 points for the first time in his career and would shoot an impressive 40 percent on over six three-point attempts per. He’d average at least 15 points in seven consecutive seasons with Seattle. He might have had more team success with Orlando and Miami, but Rashard Lewis will forever be remembered as a great Seattle Supersonic.

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9. Dale Ellis

Seasons in Seattle:

7 (1986-1991, 1997-1999)

Stats w/ the Sonics

20.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.2 Stocks, 49.8 FG%

In two separate stints with the Sonics, once during the prime of his career and the other in his late-30s, Dale Ellis proved to the NBA why he was one of the league’s most feared shooters and scorers. A 6’7″ guard-forward, Ellis would explode in Seattle after three quiet seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, the team that originally drafted him. After three consecutive years of coming off the bench to average less than ten points per game, Ellis would drop at least 23 points per in his first four seasons with Seattle, including a career-high 27.5 points per game in 1989. In the year he set his career-scoring high, Ellis would convert 48 percent of his four three-point attempts per game. Ellis would make his only All-Star game in 1989, a season in which he was selected to the All-NBA third team. Ellis shot at least 50 percent from the field in his first three seasons with the Sonics, and would come a few percentage points short of doing it a fourth consecutive year. He was traded midway through the 1990-91 season after struggles with his shot, but would found his way back to Seattle in 1998 as a 37-year-old sixth man. In his role, Ellis would lead the league in three-point percentage, shooting 46 percent on nearly four three-point attempts per contest. Yes, these three point percentages are real. Crazy, huh? What a player.

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8. Spencer Haywood

Seasons in Seattle:

5 (1970-1975)

Stats w/ the Sonics

24.9 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 2.4 APG, 2.3 Stocks, 46.3 FG%

As a rookie in the ABA with the Denver Rockets, Spencer Haywood averaged a league-high 30 points to go along with a league-high 19.5 points. He was the ABA All-Star Game MVP, league MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season. This came after Haywood spent only one year in college, where he averaged 32 points and 22 rebounds at the University of Detroit. That was more than enough to see for Seattle, who would promptly bring him over to the NBA the very next season. He only played 33 games in his first year with the Sonics, but his next four seasons was a huge improvement as he threw together four consecutive seasons averaging a double-double. Haywood would top off in 1973 after averaging an incredible 29.2 points and 12.9 rebounds. In his time with Seattle, Haywood played on four All-Star teams, was selected to two All-NBA first teams, two All-NBA second teams and finished as high as fifth in MVP voting in 1972. He has to be considered the most underrated player in franchise history and a truly great player overall.

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7. Russell Westbrook

Seasons in OKC:

7 (2008-Present)

Stats w/ the Thunder

21.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 7.1 APG, 2.0 Stocks, 43.2 FG%

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook is known as a fiery and explosive man, which is a good summary of how he plays on the basketball court. 2014-2015 saw the 26-year old take on a large role for the Oklahoma City Thunder, as his fellow superstar, Kevin Durant, was out for most of the season with a foot injury. Westbrook showed his ability as a stat-sheet stuffer throughout this most recent season, putting up gaudy numbers in almost every column. He averaged 28.1 points, 8.6 assists, 7.3 rebounds – numbers particularly impressive for a point guard – and 2.1 steals per game, and had a stretch of games in March which saw him record three consecutive triple-double games.

There have been few if any players in NBA history who can match Westbrook’s fiery athleticism and explosiveness, which are what allow him to tally such gaudy numbers. A fierce competitor, the 4-time All-Star ultimately failed to carry a depleted Thunder roster to the Western Conference playoffs, but it was certainly not for lack of trying. However, Westbrook is still sometimes an incredibly inefficient player. Despite putting up gaudy numbers, he shot just 42.6% from the field, and a below-average 29.9% from beyond the arc. While to some extent this can be excused by the fact that Westbrook’s inefficiency merely resulted from the lack of other potential scorers on a star-focused Thunder team, the 26-year old must become more efficient if he is ever to truly make the Thunder ‘his team’. It’s almost guaranteed Russell is going to move up the ranks on this list as his career plays out, especially if he and KD are able to win a title or two, but since he is still somewhat new to the league, especially compared to the players coming up – I have to keep him at seven. Time is the only thing holding this man from a top 5, maybe top 3 spot. 

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