Robert Flom (@RichHomieFlom): The Clippers will probably only bring back one of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute or Wes Johnson. And I would prefer Wes. While Luc played a big role this year with his energy and defense, his lack of offensive ability (namely shooting) makes him virtually unplayable against the NBA's elite...and the Clippers' goal every year has been to get past those teams in the playoffs.
I certainly wouldn't turn down Luc on the veteran's minimum again, but he is gonna get paid more than that. If Wes departs and the Clippers still have the BAE, I would consider using it on LMAM I suppose. Look, I like the guy, and he was a surprise contributor that stepped it up a lot last year, but the Clippers don't have many options, and they need more well-rounded or higher upside players than Luc.
Larson Ishii (@KingLarsonal): I feel the same way about bringing back Luc Mbah a Moute as I do about bringing back Wes Johnson. It would be great to have them back, but they're not such large necessities that I would use the full MLE to do so. If they want to come back for something like the BAE, then sure, bringing Luc back would be great. Luc was excellent defensively last season, and his nominal 6/7 minutes to start each half maybe did have an effect, setting the tone defensively for the game and making the team a top-5 defense. It was such a luxury to have a lockdown defender who could guard 1-4, even if his offensive limitations were large and glaring. Luc started to figure out a couple of ways to get involved offensively later on through cutting and being more aggressive, but he needs to quicken his release and become a real threat from the corners.
I think if I had to, I may take Luc back over Wes, if only because he's great at one thing at least, while Wes is average at many.
Niels Pineda (@NielsPineda): I would be happy to bring Luc back for the BAE, if he would accept that. Even with his offensive limitations, getting a player that is elite at any particular skill for such a low price is an easy decision. On top of that, our wing position is pretty shallow and Luc is extremely versatile on defense, so retaining him at the right price is a no-brainer.
However, I expect Luc to be offered a bit more than that, which would put the Clippers in a tough position. In order to match anything even slightly more than the BAE, we would have to split up the MLE, which I don't think the Clippers should do, even if it means losing Luc.
Taylor Smith (@TaylorBojangles): I think LMAM is a solid worker bee type that was overextended last season due to the Clips' lack of other viable options on the wing. His defensively versatility is extremely valuable, and he proved to be a total bargain on a minimum deal just ahead of training camp. On the other hand, he was a major offensive weak link that ground things to a halt at times. His hesitance to pull the trigger on wide open looks from the perimeter helped somewhat neuter what had been the league's best offense in 2014-15.
Still, if the Clips can bring him back on the cheap, I'm all for it. There aren't many guys in the league that can do what Luc can do on the defensive end. He just shouldn't be in the starting lineup, and probably shouldn't log more than 15 minutes a night. But if he comes back as a situational defender that can help you in certain matchups? Yes, please.