If you ever have the opportunity to step inside a cooling chamber at a Nike facility designed to help with your recovery from injuries DO NOT GO IN. That would be a major lesson learned here with the Cleveland Cavaliers decision to waive Guard Manny Harris. If Harris isn't sidelined during training camp as a result of suffering a burn on his foot from doing specifically that, an injury that was unable to then be treated by team doctors because it occurred during the Lockout, I would have a hard time seeing how he doesn't make this year's Cavaliers roster. But he did, they weren't, and he didn't.
The Cavaliers issued the following statement around 4:30 on Thursday in regards to the decision to cut Harris, as well as PG Kenny Hayes, trimming the roster to fifteen:
The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that they have waived guards Manny Harris and Kenny Hayes. Harris played in 54 games (15 starts) last season with the Cavaliers, averaging 5.9 points on .374 shooting, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 17.3 minutes per game. Hayes did not appear in either of the preseason games this season. The Cavaliers roster now stands at 15.
In the whole scheme of things, I suppose this isn't a shocking development. Harris was an undrafted free agent rookie last season, his contract was not guaranteed, and his ceiling may never be more than a solid 8th or 9th man in an NBA rotation. That said, I am still personally surprised that Harris did get cut. Part of the reason is because of what I saw from Harris last season, and other part of that is because of what I didn't see from Mychel Thompson so far. Meaning I'm not sure what Thompson did to take this roster spot from Harris, other than simply be healthier during this condensed version of training camp.
In Friday's preseason opener Mychel Thompson played 26 minutes. During that time he took four three pointers, made one, finishing 1 for 7 from the floor with 3 points, 3 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover and 3 fouls. In the Wine and Gold scrimmage on Sunday Thompson then played just under 8 minutes, and finished with 2 points, 0 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 turnover. On Monday night in the second preseason game he didn't get in. So he must be killing it in practice then, right?
Mychel Thompson is certainly a guy that Byron Scott is familiar with though, so maybe that decision regarding his ability or potential as an NBA player goes deeper than simply this preseason. Thompson's Dad played five seasons in Los Angeles alongside Scott with the Lakers, and he also reportedly called Scott campaigning for his son prior to training camp. So maybe that helped too, or maybe that had nothing to do with it. Only Byron Scott really knows that answer for sure.
In any event though, we here at Stepien Rules wish Manny Harris good luck in the future. He was a guy I had the opportunity to talk with on a number of occasions, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I do like Manny personally. I also liked his game though too, and feel like he's a pretty solid option to have filling out at least the 11th, 12th, or 13th spot on an NBA roster. I'm also sure some other team around the League will think the same way, and I do expect Manny to find a job somewhere in the Association as soon as his foot heals up. That just won't be here in Cleveland though.
Quick feet, length, hustle, court awareness, effort, Manny had the ability to become a good player, more than a bench warmer.
When you are not drafted, you rarely get that opportunity to play long enough, often enough, to develop. Instead, you regress sitting on the wood.
In college, teams practice; in the NBA, they walk-through a few things, shoot for a while, discuss opponents, then head to the hotel. It's hard to move up.
I, also, wish Manny the best. He deserved a better break than he got.
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@StepienRules M. Thompson is a younger, poor man's version of Anthony Parker before he won the Euro League MVP!