Mateen Ahmad Cleaves (born September 7, 1977) is an American former professional basketball player who played in six NBA seasons. He is currently a music talent manager and an analyst on the television program Inside College Basketball on CBS Sports Network.
In 2000, Cleaves was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the fourteenth pick. During his rookie season, he played in 78 games, averaging 5.4 points and 2.7 assists.
Cleaves was traded to the Sacramento Kings shortly before the 2001–02 season for Jon Barry and a first-round draft pick. After two seasons playing sparingly, he signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics, but was waived before 2003–04’s regular season began. He played with the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games. He was then signed by the Seattle SuperSonics, was cut during 2004–05, and re-signed during the following campaign.
Following his NBA stint, Cleaves appeared for the Fayetteville Patriots and the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League, also playing abroad with Russia’s Unics Kazan and Greece’s Panionios BC. In 2008, he played with the Denver Nuggets in their pre-season, but was waived before the October 29 tip-off.
Cleaves is best remembered for his career with the Michigan State University Spartans (MSU).
Career highlights and awards
NCAA champion (2000)
NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (2000)
Consensus first-team All-American (1999)
2× Consensus second-team All-American (1998, 2000)
2× Big Ten Player of the Year (1998–1999)
No. 12 retired by Michigan State
McDonald’s All-American (1996)
Competitor for United States
FIBA World Championship
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Greece National team