Luc Mbah a Moute wants to return to the Rockets next season
In a tight market, Luc Mbah a Moute hopes to remain with the Houston Rockets and go after the championship again next season.
After re-signing Chris Paul, the Rockets have been relatively quiet in free agency. They are expected to retain restricted free agent Clint Capela, and then they’ll try to fill out the roster with cheap contracts.
Trevor Ariza decided to leave the Rockets and head to Phoenix on a one year, $15 million deal. At 33 years old, this could be the forward’s last big pay-day, so its understandable that he chose to cash out.
Without Ariza, the Rockets have a void to fill at the small forward position. Bringing back Luc Mbah a Moute is now even more important. Fortunately, Mbah a Moute wants to return to Houston next season.
Mbah a Moute hopes that Houston brings everyone back so that they can take another shot at a ring, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
“Of course, I want to be here, yeah. I think we had a great year last year. I had a good year. The team did great, a game away from the Finals. Hopefully, we’ll bring everybody back. I know Trevor (Ariza) left. But to bring everybody else back and have the same team and try to go at it again, (that) is what I’m hoping to do. We’ll see what happens.”
Replacing Ariza by committee
Luc Mbah a Moute won’t be able to replace Ariza’s scoring or floor spacing, but he can definitely replace his defense. With Mbah a Moute on the floor last season, the Rockets had a 101.2 defensive rating. That’s the best rating on the Rockets among players that were on the court for at least 1,000 minutes.
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As for the offensive end of the floor, Houston can add a scorer like Wayne Ellington or even Carmelo Anthony. Houston probably won’t find another two-way wing like Ariza in free agency, so they’ll have to replace his production by committee.
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The Rockets will have to re-sign Mbah a Moute using their $5.3 million mid-level exception because they don’t have his bird rights. In such a tight market, its unlikely that Mbah a Moute will get offered a bigger deal anywhere else.
There’s a good chance that Luc Mbah a Moute will be back with the Rockets next season.