Options at the 4: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

Now that we've entered the long gap between Summer League play and the preseason games, I've decided to make an effort to put up a few fanposts speculating on who the Mavs might sign or trade for to fill out their roster.  Whenever I read Mavs or NBA blogs, I tend to find that people discuss the same two or three players that they find to be most likely to be signed.  This is perfectly reasonable but also somewhat boring for those of us starved for content.  So, I've been looking for some unlikely but promising candidates for the Mavs, starting with backup PFs.  Please understand that I am not saying that these are likely scenarios, but simply remote possibilities that the Mavs may pursue. 

So why would Luc Richard Mbah a Moute fit as the backup PF on the Mavs?  Well, he's a 6'8", 230 pounder capable of playing both forward positions (though he would likely see very few minutes at the 3 in Dallas).  He has a wingspan that is listed between 7'0 and 7'2", which gives him the length to defend taller players, which he does quite well.  In his time in Milwaukee, he has excelled defensively while putting up efficient, if not overwhelming, offensive numbers:


09-10 MIL 73 62 25.6 0.480 0.353 0.699 2.3 3.1 5.5 1.1 0.8 0.5 1.0 2.5 6.2



In Dallas, Mbah a Moute would be a productive player behind Dirk and a defensive stopper at the 4 if that is ever necessary.  He is also quite young and carries an unbelievably risk-free one year, $854,000 contract.


So why would the Bucks give him up?  This is the question that will likely prevent the Mavs from acquiring Mbah a Moute (on the off-chance that they try do so), but there are reasons to believe he might be available for the right price.  For one thing, Mbah a Moute is now finding himself buried behind a handful of players in the Milwaukee frontcourt.  Among the options at Mbah a Moute's two forward potential forward positions are Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova, Corey Maggette, (occasionally) Carlos Delfino, and all three 2010 draft picks: Larry Sanders, Darington Hobson, and Tiny Gallon.  With all the hype that Sanders is getting this summer, it seems like Mbah a Moute will not be seeing too many minutes as the backup 4 behind Gooden.  The 3-spot is similarly blocked, since Maggette will certainly start.  Iyasova will likely pick up minutes at both the 4 and 3 spots, forcing Mbah a Moute to fight for scraps.  It's not that the Bucks dislike Mbah a Moute at all, it's simply that their frontcourt depth may make him somewhat superfluous.


The Bucks are lacking in depth at two mainly at two positions: center and PG.  Though backup PG minutes will not be plentiful with Brandon Jennings starting, the Bucks may feel uncomfortable with Keyon Dooling as the only backup option.  They also a bit thin at center, with Andrew Bogut being the only real C on the team.  We all know that Drew Gooden can play the 5 as well, but he's a natural 4 and the Bucks might be on the lookout for added depth here.  Thus, I see any trade for Mbah a Moute involving either J.J. Barea or Alexis Ajinca (but not both, due to salary issues).  Obviously, Mbah a Moute is more valuable than either of these players, so the trade will also feature draft picks and/or money as well.  The Mavs would also likely pick up the 1-year, $854,000 contract of PF Darnell Jackson (who has no value whatsoever in the NBA) to make the salaries even out and make the deal more appealing to Milwaukee.  Here are a couple of trade scenarios where this could work out.

Scenario 1:    Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Darnell Jackson for J.J. Barea or Alexis Ajinca, a second-rounder or two, and money

Scenario 2:    Luc Richard Mbah a Moute for a TPE and a first-round pick, maybe even some money since it's Cuban. 

          - A first-rounder seems like a high price to rent Mbah a Moute, but I think this is the only way that the Bucks                     would part with him if they were completely uninterested in J.J. or Ajinca. 


Time for the mandatory poll:

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