It’s “probably safe” to assume that the Clippers will keep Luc Mbah a Moute for the rest of the season, coach/executive Doc Rivers said today to reporters, including Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). The veteran small forward’s one-year, minimum-salary contract is non-guaranteed, but it would become fully guaranteed if the Clippers don’t waive him by the end of January 7th.
Rivers’ statement is no surprise, but it nonetheless serves as confirmation of the team’s plans regarding the 29-year-old who beat out Chuck Hayes during a preseason battle for a regular season roster spot. The Clippers already have 14 players with fully guaranteed deals, so keeping Mbah a Moute would limit the team’s flexibility for the second half of the season, barring a trade. Retaining him would also mean that $947,276, which is the portion of Mbah a Moute’s salary the Clippers are responsible for, would stick on the team’s tax bill. The team’s payroll is nearly $12MM into tax territory, including Mbah a Moute.
The former UCLA standout has started the last eight games for the Clippers. That’s a prospect that seemed highly unlikely at the start of the season, and even more so over the summer, when the Kings voided their contract with him over concerns about his health. He’s poised for free agency again in the summer.
Do you think the Clippers should keep Mbah a Moute as the starter, or should they make a move to acquire another small forward? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.