With multiple spots remaining on the LA Clippers’ roster, the team looks towards a few familiar faces to bolster the bench.
Brad Turner, Clippers beat writer for the LA Times, reports that the LA Clippers still have interest in re-signing small forward Luc Mbah a Moute and big man Mo Speights.
Luc Mbah a Moute
Mbah a Moute has been with the Clippers since 2015 and was brought in mostly because of his defensive prowess at the wing spot. Luc has been the Clipper’s starting small forward for the past two seasons and has made notable improvements on the offensive end in the LA system. In his second season with the Clips, Mbah a Moute increased his scoring by three points and improved his shooting percentage from the floor (increased from 45 to 50 percent) and from three (increased from 32 to 39 percent).
The LA Clippers acquisition of Danilo Gallinari this offseason would mean that Mbah a Moute would be the team’s back up small forward/small ball power forward. Since Luc is an above average wing defender and a still improving offensive player at 30-years-old, he will garner interest from multiple teams looking to add to their wing rotation. The question remains, will the Clippers be able to scrounge up enough money to re-sign Mbah a Moute or will another team offer the forward more money and lure him away from LA.
Mo Buckets was one of the few Clippers players to appear in all 82 games of the season and evolved his game in a huge way in his 10th year in the league. Speights has always been known as an instant offense big man off the bench, but in his last season with the Clippers decided he wanted to expand his game. The center (who averages only 0.6 threes attempted per game for his career) jumped from attempting 0.9 threes per game in 2015-2016, to 3.4 threes per game in 2016-2017 with LA.
Speights was a flamethrower off the bench and was a consistent contributor on offense, averaging 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds on 45 percent shooting from the floor and 37 percent from three. However, he was quite the opposite on defense. Speights seemed to conserve all of his energy for the offensive end of the floor and often took plays off on defense and gave up easy offensive rebounds. Speights took the veteran minimum to sign with the LA Clippers last season and should be pursued by multiple teams for his instant offense off the bench. If he did return to the Clips, it would probably have to be for the minimum again which means if Speights does re-sign with LA, it won’t be until the end of free agency. The big man will likely hold off to see if any team offers him more money and save the Clips as a backup plan if he can’t find a deal for more than the minimum.