As the season draws near, the Houston Rockets have been very interested in bringing back forward Luc Mbah a Moute.
After making a blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook, the Houston Rockets have continued to fill out their roster by adding Tyson Chandler at center and Thabo Sefolosha on the wing, which are two areas the team lacked depth.
The Rockets recently held a minicamp in Las Vegas and invited free agents such as Terrence Jones, Nick Young, Raymond Felton, Corey Brewer and Thabo Sefolosha, who signed a one-year deal with Houston after impressing the front office with his play.
Former Rockets’ forward Luc Mbah a Moute was expected to tryout too, but he changed his mind and decided not to attend. According to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko (subscription required), the Rockets have had “extreme interest” in Mbah a Moute this summer. Iko didn’t give a specific reason for why Mbah a Moute decided not to attend the camp, but speculated that maybe the two sides were too far apart on contract negotiations.
Luc Mbah a Moute was a valuable part of Houston’s team in the 2017-18 season. He averaged 7.5 points and shot 36.4 percent from the 3-point line in 25.6 minutes per game off the bench. The 6-foot-8 forward’s versatile defense helped Houston finish as one of the top 10 defenses in the league that season.
As we all know, multiple shoulder injuries caused Mbah a Moute to miss time throughout the 2017-18 regular season and he clearly never fully recovered from his injuries, as he struggled to produce in the postseason. Last year, Mbah a Moute went back to the Clippers but a knee injury held him out in all but four games.
Obviously, injuries are a big concern here with Mbah a Moute and the 33-year-old isn’t getting any younger. However, a veteran’s minimum deal with Mbah a Moute would limit Houston’s risk and if he can stay healthy the Rockets could add another 3-and-D wing to go with P.J. Tucker and Thabo Sefolosha.
At this point, getting Andre Iguodala is probably a long shot for the Rockets. The Grizzlies don’t want to waive him and the Rockets will have a hard time putting together a trade package for Iguodala, especially after the NBA restructured Nene’s contract and lowered his trade value.
Mbah a Moute may not have Iguodala’s resume, but he has a very similar skillset. He can knock down the open three and he’s got the size to defend both forward positions and has the quickness to stay in front of guards.
If Luc Mbah a Moute is healthy, the Houston Rockets should move quickly to sign him to a deal.