When he signed with the Sonics as a free agent prior to the championship season, Dick Snyder was returning to the site of his greatest glory during his first stint with the Sonics from 1969 to 1974.
In one of the best deals in Sonics history - SUPERSONICS.COM declared him one of the ten best front-office finds earlier this season - Snyder was acquired from Phoenix just prior to the start of the 1969-70 season for second-year guard Art Harris.
Snyder would become one of the Sonics early stars, finishing in the team's top three in scoring four times during his first five-year period in Seattle. A highly accurate shooter for a guard, Snyder better than 50% three times with the Sonics and finished his Seattle career with a 50.3% shooting percentage, good for seventh place in the franchise's all-time record book. He scored double-figures all five years, peaking at 19.4 points per game during the 1970-71 season.
The trade that sent Snyder to the Cleveland Cavaliers on draft day 1974 was one of the most difficult in Sonics history. Snyder was 30 years old and coming off a season in which he averaged 18.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. However, the Sonics could not pass up the opportunity to move up to Cleveland's first-round pick, which they used to select North Carolina State center Tom Burleson.
"I hate to part with Dick," said Bill Russell, then the Sonics Coach and GM. "But we had a chance to get the big guy this team needs and, when you get a chance like that, you've got to make some tough decisions like trading Dick Snyder."
Initially a key player in Cleveland, Snyder saw his minutes and scoring average slide each of his four seasons with the Cavaliers. By his last season with the team, 1977-78, he barely averaged 10 minutes per game and averaged just 4.8 points per game on 44.4% shooting. Eager to add another veteran off the bench, the Sonics signed Snyder anyways, giving the Cavaliers two second-round picks as compensation.
Snyder played the role of fourth guard for the Sonics, seeing 536 minutes of action over 56 games. He averaged 3.7 points and 1.1 assists. In nine playoff games, he averaged 2.9 points.
After the conclusion of the season, Snyder went out on top, retiring. He remains in the all-time Sonics top ten in games, minutes, field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage, field goals made and assists.
Snyder currently resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona, where he owns and operates the Dick Snyder Insurance Agency, which is affiliated with State Farm.