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Should the Rockets want Luc Mbah a Moute back?

Houston Rockets Luc Mbah a Moute (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Luc Mbah a Moute (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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With the Houston Rockets in desperate need of another big man, could they possibly turn to a familiar face to fill that need?

Ever since the Houston Rockets decided to fully commit to the microball strategy, it’s been obvious they’ve needed another big. The Rockets have turned wings into centers, which has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

All in all, one thing has been clear: they’ve needed another big man. Could former Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute be the solution?

Source: Houston Rockets brought in free agent forward Luc Mbah a Moute for a workout today. Mbah a Moute last played in the NBA during the 2018-19 season due to injury.

— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) March 5, 2020

The Rockets have been getting killed on the glass essentially every night, and Mbah a Moute could definitely help mitigate that problem. LMAM is 6-foot-9 and played really well for the Rockets during the 2018-19 season, as he had a true shooting percentage of 59.5 percent, which is still his career-best.

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LMAM also had the fourth-best offensive rating of his career during that season, in addition to the third-most defensive rating of his 11-year career. It shouldn’t be surprising that the Rockets have interest LMAM, as they invited him to training camp but he ultimately declined the invite.

It’ll be really interesting to hear how the workout went and get a gauge of what type of conditioning he’s in considering how he’s not been on an NBA roster all year. Keep in mind that the Rockets have already played 60 games, meaning 73 percent of their season is already over and LMAM last played during the 2018-19 season, if we’re even counting that.

Mbah a Moute only played in four games for the LA Clippers before ultimately getting injured and having to shut it down for the season. This could be a bit of a dice roll, because the Rockets would essentially be giving him minutes they could be giving to DeMarre Carroll.

Granted, Carroll hasn’t been getting minutes at all, so he wouldn’t necessarily be losing from that standpoint but LMAM would certainly be taking potential minutes away from DMC. We’d also have to ask if his minutes would be taken away from Jeff Green, who has been stellar for the team.

Green has become the reserve big man in the small ball lineup, so MDA would have a decision on his hands regarding how he’d stagger the minutes between him and LMAM. We can’t expect D’Antoni to play nine or ten players each night, as he’s proven he’s not going to do that. And we know Austin Rivers, Ben McLemore, and Eric Gordon are going to get their minutes.

This is also presumably the nail in the coffin for Bruno Caboclo, who hasn’t been able to impress MDA. If Caboclo hasn’t been able to crack the rotation and get the attention of D’Antoni before having a familiar face like Mbah a Moute to play in favor of him, he’s certainly not going to with LMAM on the roster.

We have to be careful not to get excited about this news because it was announced at the end of the day, and it would seem like we would have heard whether or not the workout went well. In fact, we possibly would have already heard whether the Rockets were going to sign LMAM, if those were their intentions.

If the Rockets do in fact want to sign LMAM, they’ll need to create a roster spot and rookie guard Chris Clemons is the likeliest avenue to get there. Regarding the team’s finances, the Houston Rockets are still $4.57 million under the luxury tax, so signing LMAM won’t be an issue for Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.

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We’ll keep you posted on any additional news but if LMAM is added, MDA would have a major decision on his hands. It’ll be interesting to hear how the workout went.

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