|Sonics: Durant to Seattle; Allen reportedly on way to Boston|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 28 June 2007 15:02|
New Sonics' general manager Sam Presti pulled off a stunning set of moves during the early stages of Thursday night's NBA draft, sending Allen and the 35th overall pick in Thursday's second round to Boston for Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and the No. 5 pick. Boston selected Georgetown forward Jeff Green for Seattle with the fifth pick.
It was a shocking move, sending Seattle's most popular player, leading scorer and seven-time All-Star back to the Northeast where he was a college star at Connecticut.
``We are thrilled to have Kevin. But at the same time, to make the decision to move a player - and a person - like Ray Allen was tremendously difficult,'' Presti said.
``Boston really pursued this. What started as a smaller conversation became fulfilled. Their pursuit was impeccable.''
The easy part for Presti on Thursday was selecting Durant - the Texas star and The Associated Press college player of the year - with the No. 2 pick after Portland took Ohio State center Greg Oden first overall.
When the trade was announced on ESPN minutes before the Sonics chose Durant, almost every one in the crowd of about 2,000 season-ticket holders and invitees at a draft party at Seattle Center booed, hissed and pointed their thumbs down. Many were wearing gold Allen jerseys with his No. 34.
Those same fans cheered moments later as Durant's selection was announced and green and gold streamers flew.
``I want to personally compliment Ray Allen; Ray Allen the person and Ray Allen the outstanding, professional player,'' said team chairman Clay Bennett. ``We appreciate the career of Ray Allen in this market. And we wish him the very best.''