Luc Mbah a Moute

Rockets Sign Ryan Anderson To Partially Guaranteed Contract

SEPTEMBER 27: The Rockets have officially signed Anderson, according to NBA.com’s transactions log.

SEPTEMBER 25: Ryan Anderson is returning to Houston, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the free agent forward has agreed to a new contract with the Rockets. The deal will feature a significant partial guarantee, per Charania.

Anderson is still collecting on the four-year, $80MM deal that Houston gave him in the summer of 2016. He spent two years with the team before being traded to Phoenix last August in a salary dump. In February, the Suns shipped him to Miami, which waived him in July under the stretch provision.

Anderson will earn more from the Heat ($5,214,584) than the Rockets this season, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. That number will be slightly reduced once Anderson’s new contract becomes official, providing a measure of relief to the Miami, which is up against a hard salary cap.

Anderson will be given a chance to earn back-up minutes at power forward, adds Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic (via Twitter). He states that Houston reached out to both Anderson and fellow free agent Luc Mbah a Moute this month about possible returns (Twitter link). Anderson averaged 11.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in 138 games during his first stint in Houston.

The Rockets are at the 20-man limit after reaching a deal yesterday with Jaron Blossomgame, so a move will have to created before he and Anderson can both be added to the roster.

Rockets Notes: Westbrook, Harden, Anthony, Mbah a Moute

Scouts and assistant coaches from rival teams are skeptical that the RocketsRussell WestbrookJames Harden backcourt pairing will work, Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reports. There is widespread doubt that the two stars will blend their games offensively since Westbrook is poor 3-point shooter and prefers to play at a different pace than Harden. Many of those interviewed also predicted the Rockets’ perimeter defense will decline.

“They’re both hardheaded guys and we know Harden’s history with other players there,” one scout told Deveney.

We have more on the Rockets:

  • Owner Tilman Fertitta said he never met Carmelo Anthony and was surprised that his staff decided to part ways with the longtime All-Star after just 10 games last season, he told Ian Begley of SNY. “Basketball ops decided to make a decision and, you know, it kind of surprised me too, as a fan of the Houston Rockets. But I know what I know and I know what I don’t know. And if my basketball ops thought that we should move on, then I sure wasn’t going to tell them not to, even though I thought that Melo’s one the greatest players to ever play the game.”
  • It isn’t out of the question that Luc Mbah a Moute will eventually sign with the Rockets, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Currently a free agent, Mbah a Moute decided not to attend a team mini-camp for veteran free agents in Las Vegas. The team had conversations with him over the summer about a possible return but there was lingering doubt about the health, Iko continues. Though the team subsequently signed Thabo Sefolosha, adding Mbah a Moute to shore up wing depth would be ideal, Iko adds.
  • The addition of Sefolosha became official on Monday. Get all the details here.

Sefolosha, Brewer, Felton, Others To Attend Rockets’ Mini-Camp

1:41pm: Mbah a Moute, in a change of plans, won’t be attending the Rockets’ mini-camp in Vegas after all, tweets Iko.

12:13pm: A handful of the most noteworthy veteran free agents on the market will take part in the Rockets‘ upcoming mini-camp in Las Vegas, according to multiple reports. In a series of tweets, Kelly Iko and Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic reported that the following players will participate in the mini-camp:

With the exception of Jones, who has spent six seasons in the NBA, all of these players have more than a decade of NBA experience under their belts, which could make them good fits for a veteran Rockets team seeking depth as it looks to make a championship run this season.

[RELATED: Iman Shumpert turns down Rockets’ contract offer]

Although there’s some positional variety among the free agents who are participating in the Rockets’ mini-camp, it appears the team’s primary focus is on wings. Brewer, Mbah a Moute, Sefolosha, and Young all fit that bill. Mbah a Moute and Sefolosha, in particular, could be nice fits in Houston if they’re healthy, given their three-and-D abilities.

None of these veterans are currently under contract with the Rockets, who are carrying 18 players on their offseason roster. However, a strong showing at this week’s mini-camp could very well result in training camp invites for one or two of these veterans. Houston could bring even more of these players to camp if the team is willing to cut any of its current players to create extra spots on the 20-man roster.

No NBA team has fewer players on fully guaranteed deals than the Rockets, so a couple of the team’s regular season roster spots figure to be up for grabs in the preseason.

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.