The future was in the form of Kevin Durant, an exciting player who experts thought would develop nicely with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis there to guide him.
Durant might have even been the player to put to rest all discussions about moving the Sonics to Oklahoma City.
Fast forward five months: no Ray Allen, no Rashard Lewis—and an 0-8 start to boot.
So far, Durant has shown signs of NBA star power, but he has thrown up too many desperate, low-percentage shots, instead of passing off to teammates.
In addition, Robert Swift has been exactly what Sonics fans had feared: a slow, aging liability, with bad knees and a big salary.
At PG, the Sonics have three similar players who are mediocre, at best.
Wally Szczerbiak, who was supposed to lead this team, rarely gets time on the floor. When he has played, he has been nothing short of horrible. And at $13 million per year, his contract is easily one of the most foolish in the NBA.
The Sonics need to limit the load Durant has to carry. Only three weeks into his career, he already feels he needs to score 25 every game.
The Sonics need their veteran leaders—such as Chris Wilcox and Nick Collison—to step up.
Until that happens, the Sonics will be stuck in a rut.