3. Luc Richard Mbah Moute
Last summer, Sacramento’s veteran signings generally blocked its youngsters in the rotation rather than complementing them. Adding a seasoned player like Luc Mbah Moute that fills a gaping rotational hole would be a much better use of resources this time around.
Before getting hurt down the stretch last season, Mbah Moute was having one of his best seasons ever for the Houston Rockets at age 31. He seamlessly fit into their killer rotation and played an instrumental role in their defensive switching scheme, which flummoxed teams throughout the year. Luc toggled between the three and four spots offensively last year. On a Kings roster with a glut of bigs however, he would primarily play the three. That’s fine given the state of this team. Mbah Moute’s primary value comes as a defender on the wing, which is Sacramento’s most desperate need.
Although his jumper has been shaky at best for a long time, Mbah Moute flashed legit 3-point range last year. In especially Rocketsy fashion, Luc actually attempted over 50 percent of his total shots from deep, a career high by a mile. He fired up almost three shots per game from deep and hit on about 36 percent of them. That’s not bad for a guy that only started taking 3-pointers four years ago. Of course many of the shots Mbah Moute got from long-range were easy, open looks created by James Harden and Chris Paul. A high percentage of those looks would likely evaporate in this Kings offense. Sacramento almost always plays two traditional bigs, so floor spacing can get pretty cramped. And just as significantly Sacramento doesn’t have pick and roll dynamos like Harden and Paul that can consistently throw guys open.
Mbah Moute isn’t a perfect fit here. But’s he’s not a high usage guy that’s going to take away tons of shots from developing players and he’s one of the premier defensive specialists in the NBA. Both of those qualities could really benefit Sacramento. At this point in his career, Mbah Moute might prefer to play for a contender over joining a rebuilding team. But if Sacramento offers him a one-year deal between $4-$6 million, there’s a good chance he’ll take it. With tax concerns so widespread across the NBA, many teams that could use Luc Richard won’t be able to afford him for much more than the league minimum.