Seattle basketball fans got a big boost with the news that an NBA team might be in our future. Seattle native Christopher Hansen who has amassed wealth as a Hedge Fund Investor in San Francisco, is leading the charge in bring Seattle basketball back. His offer to share financing is contingent upon Seattle securing an NBA team and possibly a NHL team. In the spirit of the Seattle SuperSonics possible return, here is a list of the Top 10 Sonics of All-Time.

The formula for making this list is based off a combination of the following statistics (the bottom of the article is a chart that displays scoring and QFS Rating):

  • Career Average Points per game
  • Career Rebounds\Assist per game
  • Seasons played as a Sonic (Sorry OKC you are not eligible)
  • Total NBA Awards(All -NBA Teams -Defensive, All Star, or All-NBA Team memberships and Distinguished awards won)

Top 10 All-Time Seattle SuperSonics (1967-2008)

#10 Dale Ellis – Guard/Forward (1986-1990, 97′ & 98′)                    

  • 15.7 pts, 3.5 reb
  • 5 Seasons
  • NBA Most Improved Player
  • 1-Time NBA All Star
  • All-NBA 3rd Team

The “Silent Assassin” was simply one of the best shooters to ever put on an NBA jersey. The 6’7’’ Ellis joined the Sonics prior to the 86’-87’ season where he quickly earned his keep by averaging 24 points a game earning the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. Ellis’s best year was the 88’-89’ season in which he average 27.5 pts/g, 4.2 reb/g, and a very impressive 47.8% from the three-point line. Ellis ranks 6th all-time in three point field goals made in NBA history.

#9 Xavier McDaniel – Power Forward (1985-1990)                  

  •  15.6 pts, 6.1 reb
  •  6 Seasons
  •  1-Time All Star
  •  NBA All-Rookie Team

The 6’7” “X-Man” joined the Sonics in 1985 out of Wichita State, where he was the first NCAA player to lead the nation in both scoring and rebounding in the same season. The X-Man’s best year was the 1986; he averaged 23.0 pts/g, 2.5 ast/g, and 8.6 rebounds per game. McDaniel was known for his thunderous dunks and his turnaround jumper. McDaniel was shipped off to the Phoenix Suns for Eddie Johnson and draft choices in 1990.

#8- Tom Chambers – Center/Forward (1983-1987)                                        

  • 18.1 pts, 6.1 reb
  • 5 Seasons
  • 4-Time NBA All Star
  • NBA All Star Game MVP
  • 2-Time All NBA 2nd Team

The 6’10” Chambers came to the Sonics in the 83’-84’ season after 2 seasons with the lowly San Diego Clippers. Chambers averaged just over 20 points a game with a very respectable 6.5 rebounds during his 5 years with the Sonics. Chambers’ most memorable moment as a Sonic had to be the 1988 NBA All-Star Game where he earned MVP honors in front of his home town crowd over the likes of Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Chamber’s best season as a Sonic was the 86’-87’ season in which he averaged 23.3 pts/g, 6.6 reb/g, and 3.0 ast/g. Seattle decided not to resign Chambers after the 87’-88’ season so Chambers signed with the Phoenix Suns where he enjoyed some very productive years as well.

#7 – Shawn Kemp – Power Forward (1989-1997)     

  • 14.6 pts, 8.4 reb
  • 8 Seasons
  • 3-Time All-NBA 2nd Team
  • 6-Time NBA All Star

The “Reign Man” exploded onto the NBA scene in 1989 as a skinny very raw kid out of Trinity Junior College. The 6’10” Kemp quickly showed his explosiveness with rim rattling dunks and high wire acts that had never been seen at the time from a man of his size. Kemp teamed with Gary Payton on some of the most successful Sonics teams, including the 1995 squad that advanced to the NBA Finals where they ran into the Chicago Bulls and MJ. Kemp’s best season as a Sonic was the 95’-96’ season in which he averaged a monstrous 19.6 points a game and 11.4 rebounds.

#6– Gus Williams – Guard (1977 -1980,81-84′)                                                      

  • 17.1 pts, 5.6 ast
  • 6 Seasons
  • 2 Time NBA All Star
  • 1979 NBA Finals MVP
  • 1st Team NBA All Rookie

William’s was a key player in the Sonics title runs of 78’ and 79’.  Nicknamed the “Wizard” , Williams teamed with Brown and Dennis Johnson which was undoubtedly the best backcourt during the 40 plus years of Sonics Basketball. Williams’ took his game to the next level in the championship season of 79 and was named the Finals MVP where he averaged 28.6 points a game against the Washington Bullets.  William’s best season as a Sonic was the 81’-82’ season which saw him average 23.4 points a game along with a very impression 6.9 assists per game.

#5– Ray Allen – Guard (2003-2007)             

  • 20.2 pts, 4.3 ast
  • 5 Seasons
  • 10-Time NBA All-Star
  • 1-Time NBA 2nd Team/3rd Team Member
  • NBA All-Rookie 2nd Team

Ray Allen definitely had game when he played for Seattle during his 5 year stint.  Allen came to Seattle in 2003 after being traded for Gary Payton in one of the biggest blockbuster trades in Franchise history.  The 6’5” Allen was a 4-time NBA All Star in his 5 seasons with Seattle and the 2006-2007 season was his best with the Sonics, in which he averaged 26.4 points a game along with just smidge over 4 assists and 4 rebounds.  Allen is one of the greatest shooters that the game has ever seen and continues to play well even in his twilight years with the Boston Celtics.

#4 Jack Sikma – Center/Forward (1977-1985)      

  •  15.6 pts, 9.8 reb, .9 blks
  •  9 Seasons
  •  NBA All-Rookie Team
  •  7-Time NBA All Star
  •  All-Defensive 2nd Team

The 6’11 skilled big-man from tiny Illinois Wesleyan University was arguably the best Center in Sonics History. Sikma joined the Sonics in 1977 and quickly made an impact by making the All-NBA Rookie Team. During his 9 years he was a member of some of the most successful Sonics team’s in history, including the 1979 championship season. Sikma’s best season was in 1981 when he averaged 19.6 points a game along with 12.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.2 steals.

#3 – Lenny Wilkens – Point Guard (player 68′-72′, coach 77′-85′)   

  • 16.5 pts, 4.7 reb, 6.7 ast
  • 4 Seasons
  • 9-Time NBA All Star
  • NBA All Star Game MVP
  • Coached Sonics NBA Champions 1979
  • Voted 50 Greatest Players in NBA

Wilkens may be better known as a coach, but he was a heck of a point guard. The 6’1” Wilkens only played 4 seasons with the Sonics, but they were very impressive ones which saw him average 8.5 assists along with a smidge over 18pts. Lenny was a lefty point guard who helped bring respectability to the Sonics by winning the NBA All-Star Game MVP in the 71’ season. Wilkens also coached the Sonics to their only NBA Championship in franchise history in 1979. Wilkens is also the only player on our list who was voted in as one of the 50 Greatest NBA Players All-Time.

#2 – Spencer Haywood – Center/Forward (1970-1975)      

  • 19.2 pts, 9.3 reb
  • 5 Seasons
  • 2-Time NBA 1st team
  • 2-Time NBA 2nd Team
  • 1 Playoff Appearance
  • 4-Time NBA All Star
Haywood was the first the bona fide Superstar to ever wear the Sonics Jersey. The ultra-talented Haywood joined the Sonics in 1970 at 21 years old and quickly began dominating. During his 5 seasons with the Sonics he was All-NBA 1st teamer on 2 separate occasions, as well as a 2nd teamer twice. Haywood had ridiculous numbers in the 73’-74’ season; averaging close to 30 points and 13 rebounds per game.

#1 – Gary Payton – Point Guard (1990-2003)  

  • 16.3 pts, 3.9 reb, 6.7 ast
  • 13 seasons
  • 2-Time All-NBA 1st Team
  • 5-Time All-NBA 2nd Team
  • 2-Time All NBA 3rd Team
  • 9-Time NBA All Star
  • 9-Time All-Defensive 1st Team

Fitting, that “The Glove” would have his hands all over the top spot of this list of Sonics greats. GP joined Seattle in 1990 as a trash talking guard out of Oregon State. Payton’s name is all over the Sonic’s records books; he holds records in points, steals and assists…as well as games played. Gary Payton played 12 plus seasons for the Super Sonics before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Ray Allen. Payton will no doubt be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and in my opinion was one of the hardest working players in Franchise history.  His flashy style of play, intensity, and pure production make him the #1 Sonic of All-Time.

Honorable Mention: Rashard Lewis, Fred Brown, Nate McMillan, Slick Watts, Dennis Johnson

(1) – Average, (2) -Above Average, (3) – Elite, (4) League of Their Own,  (NA) – Not Applicable means points in this category don’t count for this Player

*Only Total NBA Awards has a rating of 4 points as this is weighted as the most important statistic. Tie-Breakers will be based off who has the highest career point per game average.


  • Sonics D

    I enjoyed reviewing “your” Top 10 Sonics of All-Time. Now I must concur:

    You must include Downtown Fred Brown in the Top 10 undoubtedly.
    -Captain of the 1978-79 Championship team
    -Leading scorer in franchise history (14,018) before Payton claimed it
    -58 points in single game (Most in club history)
    -45 points in a playoff game (tied with Ray Allen)
    -#32 SuperSonics jersey retired by club
    -Top 3 shooters in club history (Brown-Ellis-Allen)

    That essentially knocks Tom Chambers (#24) out of the Top 10 to be honest.

    Despite Dennis Johnson (DJ #24) not cracking the list:
    -MVP of the 1978-79 Finals & World Champion
    -2 time NBA All-Star
    -2 time All-Defensive 1st team

    His MVP Finals performance was no fluke, bouncing back from an 0-14 shooting performance in Game 7 of the 1978 Finals (ultimately losing the Finals that season). In the 1979 Finals, the SuperSonics won in true “team” style, with heavy contributions from leading scorer Gus Williams, Jack Sikma’s physical presence & solid rebounding/scoring & Fred Brown’s clutch scoring (instant offense/6th man), JJ’s point forward duties & the muscle of Lonnie Shelton & Paul Silas.

    Yet without DJ’s stifling defense & shot-blocking prowess during the Championship series, the Sonics likely would’ve bowed out once again to the veteran Bullets, despite the Wash. squad being banged up much of the series. Game 4 at Seattle (Sonics 114-Bullets 112 OT) was the key game of the series & DJ shined in that one. Playing like the MVP he was destined to become, he scored 32 points & 4 blocks including blocking a final shot attempt by Kevin Grevey & sending the series back to Landover up 3 games to 1.

  • Jason Littleton

    I agree, It was very tough leaving out Downtown Freddie Brown of the Top 10 Sonics considering he played 14 seasons all with the Sonics. Thanks for the great comments, let’s hope we get a team back in Seattle!

  • B.Coleman

    Detlef Schrempf doesn’t get an honorable mention?

  • TheCommish

    @B.Coleman man i loved Detlef as well. I think he would be a good addition, but he was not the most decorated player. Good player yes, but greatest Sonic of all-time? Questionable…

    @Sonics D wow! Very impressive insight on DOwntown Freddie Brown and that championship series. You must have been watching. Good stuff guys, thank you for your contributions…


    What about KD

  • Dr.J

    KD played one season as a Sonic. Not even close to being a top 10 all time Supersonic.