"Make no mistake about it, Mario West earned his spot on this team."West could be genuinely useful backing up Joe Johnson. Not in the sense that I expect him to be especially productive in the immediate future but moreso in that I hope he can prevent a two point guard backcourt from breaking out.
More from the man who found playing time for Royal Ivey despite Ivey's inability to display any tangible proof of usefulness as an NBA player:
"Since I've been here I have not viewed a player like I have Mario West. In terms of just making a major difference, he does that every time out. He makes a major impact just with his energy. And it's not fake. The way he plays does wonders for people around him. That's just how this kid plays. We were watching him in summer league and in pick up games. That's just how this guy is wired."Considering the unlikely nature of all four of the point guards being healthy at one time and the redundant nature of having both Solomon Jones and Lorenzen Wright at one's disposal, West figures to challenge Salim Stoudamire for the final active roster spot most nights. If you combined their skills you'd have one useful basketball player. If you had more players in better defined roles you could make use of either one. I'm skeptical of it mattering much, but Stoudamire/Jones/West is a more interesting back end of the roster than Ivey/Batista/Bozeman.
Completing the story, Antywane Robertson, Steven Smith, and Jamaal Tatum were released today. Robinson and Tatum received token minutes in the pre-season while Smith played but six minutes across three games.