In a move reported first right here on Sonicscentral.com the Supersonics today requested waivers on Alex Scales and Noel Felix, setting the final roster regular season roster at 15 players.
There certainly seemed to be some uncertainty as to who would wind up making the final cut as both Scales and Felix impressed the coaching staff greatly and survivors Rick Brunson and Mateen Cleaves appear to be somewhat redundant. In particular many fans had hoped that University of Oregon graduate Scales would prove to be a legitimate NBA scorer.
In the end I feel that uncertainty at the backup point guard made the decision to keep both Cleaves and Brunson a sound one. While they both possess the same basic attributes neither can be counted on to contribute greatly. With Flip Murray struggling to adjust to the point guard role it makes sense to double your odds of having another solid backup to Luke Ridnour on the team.
Many would argue for keeping the youth of Scales or Felix over a journeyman like Cleaves, but the truth is that Cleaves is less than one year the senior of Scales and has appeared to bring an improved game in the preseason. In addition Cleaves is the consummate practice player. He brings great a great attitude and is a proven commodity in terms of bench attitude. Watching practices it is obvious that he contributes a great deal to the energy and execution of his teammates. I for one am very happy for him as he is also an extremely nice guy.
Mateen Cleaves will be a regular contributor to Sonicscentral.com this season in the feature â€œAsk Coach Cleavesâ€. This feature will allow Sonicscentral.com readers to ask Mateen to translate or explain something said by Craig Ehlo on the Sonics broadcast. Please check back Wednesday for the first installment of Ask Coach Cleaves in which Mateen will explain the Flex Offense.