The 2007–08 Seattle SuperSonics season was the 41st and final season of the Seattle SuperSonics in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the franchise's final season of play in Seattle before relocating to Oklahoma City to play as the Thunder. With head coach P. J. Carlesimo as replacement of Bob Hill, who was fired at the end of the previous season, the SuperSonics finished in 15th place in the Western Conference with a franchise worst 20–62 record. Seattle's first round draft pick and no. 2 overall Kevin Durant was chosen as the Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.
As of 2018, the only remaining Sonics in the NBA are Jeff Green and Kevin Durant, after Nick Collison retired in 2018. Collison was also the last remaining player on the Thunder roster who previously played for the Sonics team.
|2007–08 Seattle SuperSonics season|
|Head coach||P. J. Carlesimo|
|General manager||Sam Presti|
|Arena||KeyArena at Seattle Center|
|Place||Division: 5th (Northwest)|
Conference: 15th (Western)
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
Following Bob Hill and Rick Sund's departures as head coach and general manager respectively, President of Basketball Operations Lenny Wilkens was charged with the responsibility of finding replacements. For the general manager position, Wilkens hired Sam Presti and months later P. J. Carlesimo was appointed as head coach of the Sonics. Wilkens quit a day later. Presti's first order of business involved a trade with the Boston Celtics on draft day that sent Ray Allen and the SuperSonics' second round pick Glen Davis to Boston in exchange for the Celtics' first round pick Jeff Green, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West. Weeks later the free agent period began, and the SuperSonics' front office needed to reach a decision regarding Rashard Lewis' future, since Lewis opted out of his final two years and became one of the most prized free agents in the offseason. The team finally agreed to a sign and trade deal with the Orlando Magic. The other trade the Sonics made during the offseason brought 12-year veteran Kurt Thomas from the Phoenix Suns.
The SuperSonics began preparations for the regular season on July 7, kicking off Summer League games in Las Vegas. The team finished with a 2–6 overall record, with rookies Kevin Durant and Jeff Green leading the team in scoring in the majority of the matches.
At the 2007 Draft Lottery the SuperSonics got the second overall pick behind the Portland Trail Blazers, matching their highest overall selection in franchise history. With their first round pick the SuperSonics selected Kevin Durant from Texas and forwards Carl Landry and Glen Davis in the second round. Davis and Landry were traded on draft day to the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets respectively.
|1||2||Kevin Durant||SF||United States||Texas|
|2||32||Carl Landry||PF||United States||Purdue|
|2||35||Glen Davis (traded to Boston)||PF||United States||LSU|
The SuperSonics kicked off a ten-game pre-season on October 9, with a 98–104 loss visiting the Sacramento Kings. Following a victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers in their next match three days later, the SuperSonics went on a 5-game losing streak before closing the exhibition tour with a victory against the Phoenix Suns in Vancouver, Canada.
|2007 pre-season game log|
Pre-season: 2–6 (Home: 1–2; Road: 1–4)
|2007–08 season schedule|
|2007–08 Seattle SuperSonics roster|
|Pos.||Starting 5||Bench 1||Bench 2||Bench 3|
|C||Johan Petro||Kurt Thomas||Francisco Elson||Robert Swift|
|PF||Nick Collison||Chris Wilcox||Donyell Marshall|
|SF||Jeff Green||Damien Wilkins||Wally Szczerbiak||Adrian Griffin|
|SG||Kevin Durant||Mickaël Gelabale|
|PG||Earl Watson||Luke Ridnour||Delonte West|
Kevin Durant and Jeff Green's regular season debuts were in doubt, since each player had to deal with sprained ankle injuries during the pre-season. Durant managed to return in time for the season opener on Halloween night, scoring 18 points in a loss against the Denver Nuggets. After their home opener (a loss against the Phoenix Suns), chances for the team to remain in Seattle took a heavy blow, as Sonics' owner Clay Bennett made public his desire to relocate the team to Oklahoma City. The SuperSonics remained on a losing streak that reached 8 games, their worst start in franchise history, and remained the only team in the league without a win before defeating the Miami Heat, followed by a Durant game-winner two days later to get past the Atlanta Hawks. The SuperSonics finished the month of November snapping a 6-game losing streak with their first home victory in a game against the Indiana Pacers, with Durant scoring a career-high 35 points. Before the win against the Pacers, the Sonics where 0–7 at home.
The Sonics registered their best record of the season in December, struggling with injuries to Luke Ridnour, Delonte West and Kurt Thomas adding to the absence of center Robert Swift. Kevin Durant matched again his career-high 35 points in a win against the Milwaukee Bucks, one of their four victories at home that month. After a 2–3 road trip that ended with a loss against the Utah Jazz in which the Sonics were held to one of their lowest scoring outputs in the season, the team returned to the KeyArena to close the year with a 5-game homestand.
After a loss against the Philadelphia 76ers on the last game of 2007, the Sonics went on their longest losing streak of the season, dropping their first 13 games of January in a combined franchise worst 14-game losing streak. During the first games of the month, the team were without the services of their second best scorer Chris Wilcox and point guard Luke Ridnour, who were sidelined with injuries. The Sonics halted the streak by defeating the defending champions San Antonio Spurs and proceeded to win their next two games at home.
After managing to win only 2 of their 16 games in January, the SuperSonics finished February with a 4–8 record and snapped an 8-game losing streak of road games with a victory against the Sacramento Kings, obtaining their first road win since mid-December. Robert Swift returned from his injuries and played his first game since November 11 in a loss against the Chicago Bulls, but would be sidelined for the remainder of the season after two more appearances. The SuperSonics reached the All-Star break with a 13–38 record, 10 games behind their worst record in franchise history at the time. Rookies Kevin Durant and Jeff Green participated in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge against the second-year players. Near the trade deadline, the Sonics sent Kurt Thomas to the San Antonio Spurs for Brent Barry, Francisco Elson and a 2009 second round draft pick. Barry was waived the next day. The Sonics made one more move before the deadline, that sent Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team deal with the Chicago Bulls.
The Sonics finished the month of March with their worse record in the regular season, winning only two games, with losing streaks of 11 and 3 games. At this point the Sonics had a 17–57 record and were six games away from their franchise worst 23–59. On March 16, the Denver Nuggets dealt the Sonics their worst loss in franchise history, with a 116–168 score. It was the most points the Nuggets' scored since a January 11, 1984, game against the San Antonio Spurs. Nearing the end of the month, injuries plagued the roster. Mickaël Gelabale tore his ACL during a practice and was out for the remainder of the season. Chris Wilcox re-injured his pinky finger, an injury that ultimately made him miss the remainder of the season, and Nick Collison and Francisco Elson were also sidelined with other injuries.
In April, the Sonics stretched their March losing streak to five games before winning in a double overtime match against the Denver Nuggets. After losing another three straight games, the Sonics played their last home game in Seattle, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 99–95 and closing the regular season with a road victory against the Golden State Warriors. The SuperSonics finished the season with a 20–62 overall record, their worst in franchise history.
|Portland Trail Blazers||41||41||.500||13||28–13||13–28||10–6|
|1||r-Los Angeles Lakers||57||25||.695||–|
|2||y-New Orleans Hornets||56||26||.683||1|
|3||x-San Antonio Spurs||56||26||.683||1|
|9||Golden State Warriors||48||34||.585||9|
|10||Portland Trail Blazers||41||41||.500||16|
|12||Los Angeles Clippers||23||59||.280||34|
|2007-08 NBA Records|
|2007–08 game log|
Total: 20–62 (Home: 13–28; Road: 7–34)
November : 3–13 (Home: 1–7; Road: 2–6)
December : 6–8 (Home: 4–4; Road: 2–4)
January : 2–13 (Home: 2–5; Road: 0–8)
February : 4–8 (Home: 3–5; Road: 1–3)
March : 2–14 (Home: 1–5; Road: 1–9)
April : 3–5 (Home: 2–2; Road: 1–3)
|2007–08 season schedule|
On September 21, 2007, majority owner Clay Bennett applied for arbitration by a federal judge on the issue of whether the team could break its lease on the KeyArena in 2008. Bennett initially set a deadline for October 31, 2007, for the City of Seattle to reach an agreement regarding a new facility, and two days past that date Bennett informed the NBA commissioner David Stern of his intentions to relocate the team to Oklahoma City. Seattle had filed a lawsuit on September 23, 2007, in an attempt to keep the Sonics from leaving before the end of their lease in 2010.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a new offer on a KeyArena expansion on March. Ballmer proposed to pay half of the US$300 million required for the expansion and set an April 10, 2008, deadline for the City of Seattle to accept the offer. After the deal fell through, all hopes rested on the lawsuit set for June 2008.
On April 18, 2008, the NBA Board of Governors approved the team's relocation to Oklahoma City by a 28–2 vote. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and Paul Allen of the Portland Trail Blazers were the only ones against the move. On July 2, 2008, the City of Seattle and the Sonics' ownership reached a settlement that allowed the franchise to move to Oklahoma City. According to the settlement, items associated with the SuperSonics' history in Seattle, including trophies, banners, and retired jerseys, stayed in the city and were placed in the Museum of History and Industry.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
|Ronald Dupree ||4||0||4.5||.333||1.000||2.0||.3||.3||.0||1.0|
|Francisco Elson ||22||2||12.7||.341||.000||.462||3.0||.4||.3||.3||3.0|
|Eddie Gill ||1||0||5.0||.000||.000||.0||1.0||.0||.0||.0|
|Adrian Griffin ||13||0||6.5||.375||1.000||1.7||.4||.4||.1||1.1|
|Donyell Marshall ||15||0||12.3||.352||.233||.923||3.1||.3||.3||.5||3.8|
|Ira Newble ||2||0||8.5||.286||.000||.0||.5||.0||.0||2.0|
|Wally Szczerbiak ||50||1||23.6||.460||.428||.843||2.7||1.4||.3||.1||13.1|
|Kurt Thomas ||42||39||25.2||.513||.696||8.8||1.3||.8||1.0||7.5|
|Delonte West ||35||5||20.8||.388||.339||.667||2.7||3.2||.9||.3||6.8|
|Mike Wilks ||3||0||7.3||.556||.000||1.000||.3||1.7||.3||.0||4.0|
Via free agency
|Players Lost |
|June 28, 2007||To Seattle SuperSonics
|To Boston Celtics|
|July 11, 2007
(Sign and trade)
|To Seattle SuperSonics
2009 second round pick
|To Orlando Magic|
|July 20, 2007||To Seattle SuperSonics
2008 and 2010 first round selections
|To Phoenix Suns|
2009 second round selection
|February 21, 2008||To Seattle SuperSonics
Adrian Griffin (from Chicago)
Donyell Marshall (from Cleveland)
Ira Newble (from Cleveland)
|To Cleveland Cavaliers|
The Oklahoma City Thunder played its inaugural season in the 2008–09 NBA season. It was the team's 1st season in Oklahoma City since the Seattle SuperSonics relocation was approved by league owners prior to settling a lawsuit. The team played at the Ford Center.
Oklahoma City hosted the New Orleans Hornets for two seasons, due to Hurricane Katrina's devastation along the Gulf Coast in August 2005.
Bold indicates NBA Finals victory
Bold indicates NBA Finals victory
2007–08 NBA season by team