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Team Reconsiders Cleaves Decision

Management acknowledged their mistake yesterday after a minor cost-cutting move may have cost them a game.

When they cut Mateen Cleaves just prior to his contract becoming guaranteed it was a calculated gamble to save a few bucks. Rick Brunson was healing and Damien Wilkens showing potential to play some PG. With a three guard rotation of Allen, Ridnour, and Murray in place and the two starters eating up the bulk of the minutes there was a decent chance that Cleaves would never see the floor. Unless Ridnour got injured prior to Brunson returning his salary would simply be money out of pocket.

Of course then Ridnour missed a game before Brunson was ready. The Sonics, uncomfortable with Wilkens running the offense were forced to play Flip Murray 45 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks and they lost a game that they may have had a chance winning. The next day management acknowledged their mistake by bringing Cleaves back on a 10 day contract.

Anytime a roster decision is made with dollars in mind rather than wins it is cause for criticism by fans who righteously expect their franchise to compete in a big dollar industry. With the Sonics only 3 games out of the playoffs each and every win and loss has huge implications. While it is good to see the team admitting to their mistake by bringing Cleaves back into the fold it should not excuse their penny pinching earlier in the year. Should they finish a single game back from the playoffs that Dallas loss will loom large.

At this point it seems that the fans and management are committed to moving Reggie Evans to another location and that is probably the right course of action. They need however to remember the lesson learned at PG when they make their decision and fill the bench gap left in Evans departure. Evans should be moved for value. Something needs to come back that has the potential to help the franchise either this year, or in the future. If not we could find that his absence costs us yet another game this year when injury or circumstance creates a need for him.