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Free Agency: Clippers, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute Share Mutual Interest

The Clippers' surprising starting small forward could end up returning.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, the Clippers and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute share mutual interest in his return:

After making the Clippers' roster as the 15th man in training camp on a non-guaranteed deal, Mbah a Moute capitalized on the failing cast of small forwards by earning a chance to enter the starting lineup early in the season, and playing well enough to never relinquish it.  Despite not possessing a reliable three-point shot (only 40 attempts on the season), he managed to be invisible enough offensively to not drag the team's attack through the mud.  On defense is where Mbah a Moute made his mark, playing outstanding lockdown defense against the opponent's best scorer night in and night out.

Despite his contributions, the Clippers are in a rough spot with Luc.  He was only on a one-year contract, so he cannot return for a greater salary using his bird rights.  The best that the Clippers can do is offer him their Mid-Level or Bi-Annual exceptions, and the team might have to make a difficult decision and choose between Luc, their other free agents, and outside targets.

Mbah a Moute signed with the Kings for more than the minimum last season before they voided his contract due to a failed physical in an ethically questioned move of buyer's remorse.  This caused him to miss out on free agency and join the Clippers in training camp.  After having a solid season, he's not likely to get the minimum again, but if he'll take the bi-annual exception of just over 2 million, he could be the Clippers' best bet.