The last time an NBA team put down stakes in Oklahoma City, it hit town with an awful record and nothing much going for it other than a rookie point guard. Who was taken No. 4 in the draft. Don't despair that your future Sonics' run of lottery luck ended at one year. Courtesy of David Stern's ping-pong balls, the Sonics will pick fourth in the 2008 draft. That's a disappointment, not a death sentence. That's how the NBA works. Luck comes and luck goes. Wisdom endures, and it's about time Clay Bennett started finding out if whiz kid Sam Presti knows what he's doing. The 31-year-old general manager has impacted the franchise in only one meaningful way: a batch of trades that cleared cap space and brought draft picks. Any bozo would know to pick Kevin Durant, as the Sonics did last June at No. 2. And hiring P.J. Carlesimo to coach was an obvious keep-the-seat-warm-until-we-get-halfway-good decision. Now Presti starts earning his keep. No. 4 is a fascinating spot in the draft. No. 4 is a draft slot of home runs and strikeouts; of superstars and busts. I did some quick research. In the last 40 years, the No. 4 overall pick has been a bust 26 percent of the time and turned into a star 18 percent of the time. Big-time ballplayers are available at No. 4, so long as you can spot them. Chris Paul was a No. 4 in 2005, transformed the previously 18-64 Hornets and energized Oklahoma City's maiden NBA voyage. Now he's one of the four best players in the NBA. Toronto stud Chris Bosh was a four. Lamar Odom, too. Antawn Jamison, Rasheed Wallace, Dikembe Mutombo. Alvan Adams, the Sooner star, was the 1976 NBA rookie of the year after going No. 4. Adams led those Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Celtics, who were led by Dave Cowens. Yep, another No. 4. This decade, there's really been only one bust at No. 4, Marcus Fizer. Eddy Curry and Drew Gooden have been serviceable. Shaun Livingston was, too, before a catastrophic injury. You would think drafting would be more difficult than ever, with international players and high school seniors or college freshmen dominating the early picks. But the busts at No. 4 — the Greg Kelser/Bill Garnett crowd — came in the old days of drafting college seniors. The Sonics, like most teams picking No. 4, need much more than serviceable. Serviceable players are what get you in the lottery in the first place. Can't take Memphis' Derrick Rose, who rates with Michael Beasley as the top two players in the draft? Make sure the pick at No. 4 isn't a wish, but a conviction. Need a point guard? Find one. Steve Nash, Tony Parker and Andre Miller all were picked well after fourth. Arizona's Jerryd Bayless, USC's O.J. Mayo, Texas' D.J. Augustin and UCLA's Russell Westbrook all figure to be available when the Sonics pick. So it's up to Presti to take the right one. Easier said than done, but despite the Sonics' lottery luck of last spring, it's not supposed to be easy.