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May 1, 2008 6:56 PM

Carlesimo will return next season

Posted by Percy Allen

General manager Sam Presti said emphatically today that coach P.J. Carlesimo will return next season.

He tried to dance around the question as he did two weeks, but finally when asked point blank if PJ will be back, he replied: "Absolutely."

It's pretty hard to read between those lines.

During a season-ending meeting with reporters on April 17, Presti dodged three questions about Carlesimo's tenure, which led to rampant unsusbstantiated speculation that the team would make a coaching change.

I never thought it was going to happen partly because Presti has shown himself to be meticulous person who examines the issue from every conceivable angle before making a move. Privately, I heard Presti was suprised that his non-committal created such a commotion.

Those fans frustrated with Carlesimo had dreams of Avery Johnson, Mike D'Antoni, Sam Mitchell or Rick Carlisle coaching this team. Granted some of those guys are still employed, but they are on the proverbial hot seat.

Kevin Durant downplayed any type of player uprising against Carlesimo. In fact, the newest Rookie of the Year said he enjoyed playing for ther fiery coach and hopes he's coaching the team for many more years.

SOME THOUGHTS ON TODAYS'S ROY PRESENTATION ... The T-Mobile headquarters was a strange venue for the event. I know the company is the sponsor for the award, but it would have been nice if fans were allowed to attend. As it were, roughly 300-400 T-Mobile employees gathered in the parking lot to witness Durant win the ROY.

Noticeably absent were any Sonics players. When Brandon Roy won the award last year, he was surrounded by 4-5 Portland Trail Blazer teammates. I understand players may be out of town or vacationing, but it seems strange that nobody turned out for the show. Representing the Sonics were: GM Sam Presti, coach P.J. Carlesimo, assistants Ralph Lewis and Brian Keefe, a few front office employees and Squatch.

Chairman Clay Bennett was not there, however, an Oklahoma City television news crew made the trip.

Kudos to T-Mobile for donating $49,700 to the New Orleans Recovery School District. The company pledged $20 per point during the month when the Rookie of the Month won the award. Durant tallied $28,500 during the five months he won the award.

More kudos to the Goodwin Sports Management. The Seattle-based boutique-style sports agency had the first and second-place finishers in the ROY voting. Atlanta's Al Horford finished second. Durant is the fifth Rookie of the Year for GSM, joining Jason Kidd, Chris Webber, Damon Stoudamire and LeBron James.

And finally ... the Sonics moved up one spot in the upcoming NBA Draft last week when Phoenix won a tie-breaker with Houston and will select at No. 23. The Suns, who finished the regular season tied with the Rockets, will give their pick to Seattle because of the Kurt Thomas trade.

2008 FIRST ROUND DRAFT CHOICE ORDER

The teams entered in the lottery, to be held on May 20, 2008, are as follows (note: the first three picks in the Draft will be determined by the lottery and the remainder of the "lottery teams" will select in positions 4 through 14 in inverse order of their consolidated standings at the end of the regular season):

TEAMRECORDLOTTERY CHANCES (out of 1,000)
Miami 15-67 250
Seattle20-62199
Minnesota 22-60 138
Memphis 22-60 137
New York 23-59 76
LA Clippers 23-59 75
Milwaukee 26-56 43
Charlotte 32-50 28
Chicago 33-49 17
New Jersey 34-48 11
Indiana 36-46 8
Sacramento 38-44 7
Portland 41-41 6
Golden State 48-34 5
The order for the remainder of the first round picks is as follows:
15. Atlanta (To Phoenix) 37-45
16. Philadelphia 40-42
17. Toronto 41-41
18. Washington 43-39
19. Cleveland 45-37
20. Denver 50-32
21. Dallas (To New Jersey) 51-31
22. Orlando 52-30
23. Utah 54-28
24. Phoenix (To Seattle)55-27
25. Houston 55-27
26. San Antonio 56-26
27. New Orleans 56-26
28. LA Lakers (To Memphis) 57-25
29. Detroit 59-23
30. Boston 66-16


2008 SECOND ROUND DRAFT CHOICE ORDER

31. Miami (To Minnesota via Boston)
32. Seattle
33/34. Memphis (To Portland)
33/34. Minnesota
35/36. LA Clippers
35/36. New York (To Portland)
37. Milwaukee
38. Charlotte
39. Chicago
40. New Jersey
41. Indiana
42. Atlanta (To Sacramento)
43. Sacramento
44. Philadelphia (To Utah)
45. Toronto (To San Antonio)
46. Portland (To Seattle via Boston)
47. Washington
48. Cleveland (To Phoenix)
49. Golden State
50. Denver (To Seattle)
51. Dallas
52. Orlando (To Miami)
53. Utah
54. Houston
55. Phoenix (To Portland via Indiana)
56. New Orleans (To Seattle via Houston)
57. San Antonio
58. LA Lakers
59. Detroit
60. Boston

*Please note that teams that finished the regular season with identical records will select in the second round in the reverse of the order in which they select in the first round. With respect to the ties between Memphis and Minnesota (33 and 34); and the Los Angeles Clippers and New York (35 and 36): since the order of selection in the first round for each set of teams may change based on the results of the Draft Lottery, the order of selection in the second round cannot be determined until after the Draft Lottery is conducted (on May 20, 2008).


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