- Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America
The gist: A former 2nd round pick out of UCLA, Mbah a Moute has embodied the tough-minded approach of his coach, Scott Skiles, and the defense-first (defense-only?) performance of his team, the Milwaukee Bucks, through his first three seasons. He does not fit the mold of the small forward we have been talking about for years — he is NOT a shooter — but as a restricted free agent when the league resumes operation, he could be an interesting option for the Clips if the price is right.
The case for: Mbah a Moute is an elite defender, but he is no Quinton Ross. At 6’8″ and 230 pounds, he has the size and strength to guard both forward spots and the versatility to stick 2’s (see above). For perspective, well-known lockdown defender, Tony Allen, allowed 101 points per 100 possessions each of the past two years, Mbah a Moute was not far behind at 103. Synergy has him somewhere between “very good” and “excellent” from isolation situations to the post. He’s a cerebral player with a history of achievement (a finals appearance and two other Final Fours in three college seasons, a playoff berth with the Bucks), the classic anti-Clipper that could be an asset to a young, developing core.
The case against: For all his strengths — and they aren’t limited to the defensive end, he shoots a pretty efficient 47% from the floor for his career — he just might not fit what the Clippers need from their small forward. It’s not that he is a bad three-point shooter, he literally does not shoot them. He’s shot only six in his career, all in his second season, and does not figure to emerge from the lockout as Eric Piatkowski. But who knows, he is known as an incredibly hard worker…