Link to jump to start of content The Seattle Times Company Jobs Autos Homes Rentals NWsource Classifieds

Thursday, July 6, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM


Wilcox talks becoming a drag

Seattle Times staff reporter

Because negotiations between the Sonics and restricted free agent Chris Wilcox stalled earlier this week, the sides are exploring sign-and-trade possibilities, the rhetoric is becoming terse and the likelihood that contract talks will end unfavorably for both sides grows stronger each day.

"The longer it drags on, we will come to the point of no return where Chris will not look back and will no longer want to be in Seattle," said Jeff Fried, the Washington, D.C.-based agent for Wilcox. "Since it appears that the Sonics are unwilling to give Chris his fair-market value, we're looking at other options."

According to one NBA source, as many as nine teams have contacted the Sonics about Wilcox, but general manager Rick Sund has declined to seriously entertain each offer.

Golden State is believed to be the latest team to inquire about Wilcox, but discussions with Seattle ended quickly because the Sonics are hoping to land an All-Star forward in return.

Sund and Fried exchanged initial contract proposals on Monday, and the meeting revealed just how far apart both sides are.

Many believed the Sonics would offer Wilcox the six-year, $42 million deal they extended Vladimir Radmanovic last year, but Seattle's offer was slightly lower because only a few teams have the salary-cap flexibility to aggressively pursue the 6-foot-10 power forward.

Most teams can use their mid-level exception and offer Wilcox a five-year, $31 million contract, but the Sonics can match those offers and retain his services.

Given their favorable position, the Sonics offered Wilcox considerably less than Denver's six-year, $60 million deal with Nene on Sunday, which seemed to set the market for power forwards.

Wilcox was hoping to land a deal comparable to Nene's because the Sonics forward averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in 29 games with Seattle last season. Nene, who missed last season because of a knee injury, averaged 10.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in three seasons with the Nuggets. A possible breakthrough in the negotiations occurred Wednesday when Fried told the Sonics that he's open to accepting a three-year deal averaging less than $10 million per season.

The two sides continue to converse daily, but no face-to-face meetings are scheduled. Fried said he was optimistic. Sund didn't return messages to his office on Wednesday.

If the Sonics aren't agreeable to a short-term deal and sign-and-trade offers are refuted, then Wilcox's only option is signing the qualifying offer that will make him an unrestricted free agent next summer.

It's the same option the Sonics presented Radmanovic, Reggie Evans and Ronald Murray last year.

Each of them grudgingly took the one-year deal, which was partly to blame for Seattle's 35-47 record because they sulked during the season, never played to their potential and were dealt before the February trade deadline.

"Chris enjoyed Seattle immensely, really bonded with his teammates and we certainly thought they had the view that his value was part of building a playoff caliber team," Fried said. "Chris either wants to get a deal done in Seattle or move forward with the sign and trade.

"He doesn't want a long, drawn-out negotiation, and I would think that the last thing the Sonics would want is a disgruntled 24-year-old who doesn't want to be there."

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company



TV/Radio listings

Monday, May 6

Pro baseballTVRadio
4:07 p.m.Seattle at TorontoROOT710
7 p.m.PCL, Reno at Tacoma850
7:30 p.m.*Seattle at TorontoROOT
NBA basketball playoffs
4 p.m.New York at BostonESPN
4 p.m.Indiana at AtlantaESPN2
6:30 p.m.Oklahoma City at HoustonESPN
6:30 p.m.L.A. Clippers at MemphisESPN2
NHL hockey playoffs
4 p.m.Ottawa at MontrealCBUT
4 p.m.N.Y. Islanders at PittsburghNBCSN
4 p.m.Ottawa at MontrealCNBC
6:30 p.m.Minnesota at ChicagoNBCSN
6:30 p.m.Minnesota at ChicagoCBUT
7 p.m.San Jose at VancouverCNBC950, 102.9
Pro golf
6 a.m.*European Tour, China OpenGOLF
9:30 a.m.LPGA Tour, Kingsmill ChampionshipGOLF
NoonPGA Tour, Wells Fargo ChampionshipGOLF
4:30 p.m.*Champions Tour, Insperity Champ.GOLF
Auto racing
9 a.m.NASCAR Nationwide 312 qualifyingESPN2
11 a.m.NASCAR Sprint Cup 499 practiceSPEED
12:30 p.m.NASCAR Sprint Cup 499 practiceSPEED
2 p.m.ARCA Talladega 250SPEED
Horse racing
2 p.m.Kentucky OaksNBCSN
WHL hockey playoffs final
10:30 p.m.*Edmonton at PortlandROOT
College lacrosse
2:30 a.m.* (Sat.)ECAC Semis, Loyola,Md.vs.Ohio St.ROOT
College softball
4 p.m.Oregon St. at OregonPAC-12
6 p.m.Arizona St. at ArizonaPAC-12
IIHF hockey
2 a.m. (Sat.)United States vs. AustriaNBCSN
* Delayed broadcast

Complete TV/Radio listings

Times writers on the radio

950 KJR

  • Mariners reporter Geoff Baker appears at 9 a.m. Tuesdays with Mitch Levy.
  • Columnist Jerry Brewer appears daily with Elise Woodward 10 a.m. to noon as well as on the Seahawks Roundtable at 8:20 a.m. Thursdays during the NFL season.
  • UW reporter Bob Condotta appears on the Husky Roundtable at 8:20 a.m. Mondays during the college football season.
  • Baseball reporter Larry Stone appears at 8 a.m. Fridays with Mitch Levy.
  • UW reporter Percy Allen appears at noon every Saturday with Jeff Aaron.

* = tape delayed

Complete TV/Radio listingsMore

AL West W L Pct. GB Div. Streak
y-LA Angels 100 62 .617 --- 36-21 Won 1
Texas 79 83 .488 21 30-27 Lost 1
Oakland 75 86 .466 24.5 26-31 Lost 5
Seattle 61 101 .377 39 22-35 Won 3

y - clinched division, x - clinched playoff berth

Wild card standings | AL standings | NL standings

Sign up for daily sports e-mails

Have top Seattle Times headlines delivered to your inbox each morning for sports, Mariners, Sonics, Storm, Seahawks, Huskies, Cougars and high school.

Recreation calendar
Detailed listings of community sports activities.

Sports cartoon

Updated every Sunday.

How to contact sports


Phone: (206) 464-2276

Fax: (206) 464-3255


E-mail: Cathy Henkel, Sports Editor,

Snail mail: Sports Editor, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111

More info.


Local sales & deals Play games Find a job
Search for a job
Job type