Luc Mbah a Moute

Clippers Waive Luc Mbah a Moute

The Clippers have waived veteran forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who’s currently rehabbing from left knee surgery, the team announced today in a press release.

Mbah a Moute appeared in just four games during his second stint with the team, undergoing the season-ending knee surgery in March. He’s expected to return to basketball activities in time for free agency this July, where he’ll be able to sign with a team of his choice.

The release of Mbah a Moute, 32, leaves the Clippers with no players left on the roster who played for the team two seasons ago. The franchise has completed a full overhaul under the guidance of team president Lawrence Frank and general manager Michael Winger, with Doc Rivers remaining at the helm as coach.

Mbah a Moute holds career-averages of 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 0.9 steals across his 11 NBA seasons. He made stops with Milwaukee, Sacramento, Minnesota, Philadelphia and Houston before signing a one-year deal with the Clippers last summer.

Los Angeles is working to secure the sixth seed in the Western Conference with two games left on the season. The team has a road game scheduled against the Warriors on Sunday, along with a home game against the Jazz to finish their campaign on Tuesday.

NBA rosters are officially set for the playoffs on Friday, April 12 at 3:00 pm EST. The Clippers will have until their last game of the regular season to sign a player for the postseason if they wish.

Luc Mbah A Moute To Miss 8 Weeks After Knee Surgery

Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute is expected to miss eight weeks of action after undergoing knee surgery on Wednesday, the team announced in a press release. The surgery, a partial medial meniscectomy in his left knee, was performed by Dr. Riley Williams in New York.

Mbah a Moute was originally injured when the Clippers played the Pelicans on October 23, receiving various non-surgical treatment options in the months that followed. He’ll finish the 2018/19 season with just four games played.

The Clippers are gearing up for another postseason run, sporting a strong unit around the likes of Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari and Montrezl Harrell. Mbah a Moute signed a free-agent contract to join the team last offseason, marking his second professional stint with the team.

Mbah a Moute’s estimated timetable for recovery falls in the middle of the Western Conference Finals. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, holding 11 years of NBA experience with six teams.

Pacific Notes: Chandler, Mbah a Moute, LeBron, Kings, Lakers

As the Clippers prepare to make a final push for the playoffs, the team is expecting forwards Wilson Chandler (right quad strain) and Luc Mbah a Moute (sore left knee) to make their returns soon, according to Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times.

Both players are likely to practice in the near future, coach Doc Rivers said, with their eventual returns adding to an already deep Los Angeles team. Rivers did not give a specific timeline for either player.

“Being an eighth seed or seventh seed or sixth seed is not our goal in the long run,” Rivers said earlier this month, according to Greif. “We want to be champions.”

Several players have been linked to the Clippers in recent months, including the recently traded Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis added the Clippers to a handful of preferred trade destinations before being moved out of New York, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported.

The team could pursue the likes of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and DeMarcus Cousins in free agency this summer, preaching a well-rounded, competitive roster that currently owns the eighth best record in the West at 32-27.

Rockets Notes: Rivers, Paul, Knight, Mbah A Moute

Austin Rivers is downplaying talk of a feud with Chris Paul during their five years as Clippers teammates, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Rivers, who officially signed with the Rockets yesterday, points out that he never would have been welcome in Houston if Paul hadn’t agreed to the move.

“I have no problems with Chris, as you guys will see,” Rivers said. “Obviously, if I had a problem with Chris I wouldn’t be here. Chris has a huge input on this team as he should. He’s a Hall of Fame point guard. If that was that serious, I wouldn’t be here. That will show you that’s not real.”

Paul’s latest hamstring injury, suffered last Thursday, opened the door for Rivers to become a Rocket. Houston needs backcourt help with Paul out of action for at least two weeks, and Rivers was looking for playing time on a contending team after agreeing to a buyout with the Suns, who acquired him from the Wizards earlier this month.

“This is a team I always admired and wanted to play for with (coach Mike) D’Antoni and the way they play, getting up and down,” Rivers added. “It’s a very fitting place.”

There’s more today from Houston:

  • Even though he just joined the team and hasn’t played in more than a week, Rivers won’t be on a minutes restriction as he makes his debut with the Rockets today, tweets Houston play-by-play man Craig Ackerman.
  • The addition of Rivers will cut into Brandon Knight‘s playing time, but that was the plan all along, Feigen writes in a question-and-answer column. Knight missed a year and a half with an ACL tear and only had a couple of practices before taking the court. The Rockets intended to bring him along slowly and didn’t want to increase his minutes because of Paul’s injury.
  • Rockets management had concerns about the condition of Luc Mbah a Moute‘s shoulder, which limited what they were willing to offer him in free agency, Feigen adds in the same piece. Mbah a Moute, who got $4.3MM to rejoin the Clippers, has only played four games this season, but it has been a knee issue rather than the shoulder that has limited him.

Rockets Notes: House, Ariza, LeBron

As the Rockets got off to a rough start, a big issue plaguing the team was a lack of depth, especially on the wing. With Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute departing in the offseason and Carmelo Anthony deemed too much of a negative to be part of the rotation, the Rockets were left with James Ennis and not much else.

That is where the emergence of Danuel House comes into play. As Jonathan Feigen writes for The Houston Chronicle, House has stepped up in recent games and provided a much-needed lift for the Rockets. House insists he is focused on hitting shots, playing solid defense and providing energy off the bench, especially as Ennis recently went down with an injury and Eric Gordon has been inserted into the starting lineup.

The Rockets have started to turn things around in recent games, with House providing an unexpected jolt off the bench just when the team needed one.

There’s more from the Rockets:

  • The Rockets have surely missed Ariza’s presence and leadership, which Tania Ganguli details for The Los Angeles Times. Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker are quoted on the value that Ariza can bring to a locker room, especially on the Rockets team that had high aspirations last season.
  • A brief but flashy storyline in the offseason was the potential that LeBron James would join his friend Chris Paul and defending MVP James Harden in Houston to form a new super team. Of course, that never happened and Dave McMenamin of ESPN reveals (via Twitter) that James didn’t give much thought to actually joining the Rockets.
  • The Rockets recently emerged as a potential suitor for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the 25-year-old shooting guard from the Lakers. Caldwell-Pope can provide defense and 3-point shooting, which the Rockets could use more of moving forward.

Pacific Notes: Bridges, Suns, Mbah a Moute, Warriors

The Suns have been struggling through an extended rebuild for several years now, which has led to them piling up plenty of young players and prospects that have had to compete for playing time. First it was Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss, now it appears to be Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson. As Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer writes, Bridges appears to have the edge moving forward as a result of the added shooting he can provide.

Bridges has impressed so far this season for the Suns while Jackson has only continued to disappoint, which has led to inconsistent playing time and opportunities for the sophomore wing. With shooting being emphasized all over the league, it’s no surprise that Bridges is getting more opportunities, especially considering that he has been solid on the defensive end for a rookie.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how the playing time and opportunities play out on the wing for the Suns, especially as they will likely add another top prospect to the roster for next season.

There’s more from the Pacific division:

  • As the lopsided losses continue to pile up for the Suns, frustration is mounting within the locker room. As Duane Rankin writes for Arizona Central, there have been numerous instances of friction and disconnect throughout the team, especially because the Suns were looking to be more competitive this season.
  • After only appearing in four games early in the season, it appears that Luc Mbah a Moute finally has a timetable for his return, as Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register reveals that the Clippers expect him to return in a couple of weeks from his left knee injury.
  • As the Warriors continue to fight through a season full of turmoil and injuries, Nick Friedell of ESPN writes that the team is still looking to find its joy, which is much harder to regain as it isn’t a tangible goal or accomplishment such as a championship ring or trophy.

Texas Notes: Mbah a Moute, Anthony, Mavericks, DeRozan

Luc Mbah a Moute only played one season with the Rockets, but he admits it’s going to be an odd feeling when he faces his former teammates tonight, relays Mirjam Swanson of The Daily Bulletin. Mbah a Moute came to Houston as a free agent last summer at the urging of Chris Paul, then returned to the Clippers over the offseason after receiving a one-year, $4.3MM offer.

“It’s always, always [weird],” said Mbah a Moute, who has been with six organizations in his 10-year career. “Especially that team, we had a really good team and a chance to do something special, so it’s going to be weird, but I look forward to it.”

Mbah a Moute provided a strong defensive presence off the bench for the Rockets. He averaged 7.5 PPG and shot .364 from 3-point range, but a late-season shoulder injury limited his effectiveness in the playoffs.

There’s more NBA news from the Lone Star State:

  • Carmelo Anthony seems like an uncomfortable fit with a Rockets team that emphasizes 3-point shooting, and a look at the stats shows he will have to change his game to be effective in Houston, according to Ben Alamar of ESPN.
  • The future the Mavericks envision was on display in Saturday’s win over the Timberwolves, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. First-round pick Luka Doncic had 26 points and six rebounds, while last year’s star rookie, Dennis Smith Jr., poured in 19 points, including the game-winning shot. “Hey, if that was a peek at the future, it’s looking good,” said J.J. Barea. “Great win. And you see Luka. He just plays the game. And Junior, he had foul trouble, stuck with it and made the big shot. He took a tough shot and made it. They’re tough.”
  • DeMar DeRozan has adapted quickly to his new situation with the Spurs, relays Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express News. DeRozan had a difficult time changing teams after nine seasons in Toronto, but he’s averaging 28.0 PPG through his first two games with San Antonio. “He’s absorbed everything we’ve given him so far, knowing full well it’s a new system,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “It will take some time for him to feel totally comfortable, but he’s highly intelligent. It’s the NBA, it’s not rocket science so he’s picking it up pretty quickly.”
  • Former Spurs forward DeJuan Blair is back in the organization after being drafted by Austin in Saturday’s G League draft, McDonald adds in the same story.

Contract Details: Redick, Bertans, Clippers, O’Quinn

J.J. Redick‘s new deal with the Sixers gives him plenty of protection in the unlikely event that Philadelphia wants to trade him. Because he re-signed on a one-year deal and will have Early Bird rights at the end of it, he receives the ability to block any trade involving him during the 2018/19 league year, since he’d lose those Early Bird rights in the event that he’s moved.

On top of that, Redick has a 7.5% trade kicker in his new deal, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link), which would give him a bonus if the Sixers do trade him and he approves the deal. That bonus would be worth about $919K, since Redick’s new contract has a value of $12.25MM, per Pincus.

Here are a few more details on newly-signed contracts, courtesy of Pincus:

  • The Spurs‘ new two-year agreement with Davis Bertans has a base value of $7MM annually, but Bertans can also earn $250K in unlikely incentives per year (Twitter link). The deal can be worth up to $14.5MM in total.
  • The Clippers split their full mid-level exception right down the middle, with Luc Mbah a Moute and Mike Scott each receiving $4,320,500 (Twitter link). L.A. will be hard-capped this season as a result of using the full MLE.
  • Jarred Vanderbilt, the 41st overall pick in this year’s draft, got a three-year, minimum-salary contract from the Nuggets with two fully guaranteed seasons (Twitter link). The third year will be non-guaranteed until July 15, 2020.
  • Kyle O’Quinn received the Pacers‘ full room exception ($4.449MM) on his one-year contract (Twitter link).

Clippers Sign Luc Mbah A Moute

JULY 11: The Clippers have officially signed Mbah a Moute, according to the NBA’s transactions log.

JULY 9: Rockets free agent forward Luc Mbah a Moute has agreed to a one-year contract with the Clippers, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The contract will be worth $4.3MM, Wojnarowski adds in another tweet.

Mbah a Moute had expressed dissatisfaction in his negotiations with Houston this month with the Rockets apparently offering just the veteran’s minimum. The Spurs, Lakers, Wizards, and Sixers had also reportedly expressed some level of interest in Mbah a Moute.

The Clippers essentially split their mid-level exception to acquire both Mbah a Moute and another forward, Mike Scott, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

The loss of Mbah a Moute appears to increase the possibility that Carmelo Anthony will wind up in a Houston uniform. The Rockets have now lost two key defensive wings in free agency with Trevor Ariza joining the Suns.

Familiarity played a role in Mbah a Moute’s decision, as he played two seasons for Doc Rivers and the Clippers before joining the Rockets prior to last season. He averaged 7.5 PPG in 25.6 MPG in his limited offensive role while making an above-average 36.4% of his long-range attempts.

In terms of the Clippers, the addition of Mbah a Moute gives them 14 guaranteed contracts and three others – Milos Teodosic, Patrick Beverley and CJ Williams – that are partially guaranteed or non-guaranteed, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes. Los Angeles now has $118MM in salary, $5.7MM below the luxury-tax threshold.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agent Rumors: Mbah A Moute, Hood, N. Young

While Clint Capela may be the Rockets‘ most important free agent remaining, he’s not the only one the team has to worry about. A person close to the situation and with knowledge of negotiations tells Kelly Iko of RocketsWire that Houston also hasn’t progressed toward a deal in talks with UFA forward Luc Mbah a Moute.

According to Iko, Mbah a Moute is seeking more money and long-term security than he received from the Rockets in 2017/18, but the club is offering him another minimum-salary deal. Iko’s source suggests that the Spurs, Lakers, Clippers, Wizards, and Sixers have all expressed some level of interest in Mbah a Moute as well.

Here are a few more free agent notes and rumors:

  • Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) describes the Rodney Hood sweepstakes as a three-team race involving the Cavaliers, Kings, and Bulls. Sacramento and Chicago are two of the only teams with the cap room necessary to make a viable offer to Hood — we wrote about the Kings’ interest in the RFA swingman earlier today.
  • Free agent swingman Nick Young has received some interest from the Kings, Grizzlies, Rockets, Cavaliers, Jazz, and Timberwolves, among others, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. According to Wolfson, Young views Minnesota as as “good opportunity” but the club’s interest hasn’t been as aggressive as it was a year ago.
  • The Cavaliers had a group in Las Vegas this morning to see free agent wing Treveon Graham work out, league sources tell TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link). The Cavs have “strong interest” in Graham, who is drawing interest from the Timberwolves too, says Aldridge.