With the Los Angeles Lakers having just one roster spot open, the final move could be vital if the franchise is looking to contend.
Former center Brook Lopez signed on Sunday with the Milwaukee Bucks, ruling out one option for the team. Another intriguing option, though, could come at the expense of a fellow Western Conference contender.
Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was a vital piece of the Houston Rockets last season. However, in the midst of his free agency, the Lakers have emerged as a potential option for the former UCLA product.
From Kelly Iko of USA Today Rockets Wire:
According to the person, the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers have expressed interest, and at least two of these teams have presented offers to Mbah a Moute.
If the Lakers are looking to add veteran, win-now players, Mbah a Moute makes perfect sense for the roster.
Last season, Mbah a Moute played 25.6 minutes per game and featured in 61 games for the Rockets, averaging 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals while shooting 36.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Once a non-factor behind the three-point line, Mbah a Moute has developed a respectable jumper. After hitting just 24 three-pointers in 86 attempts in his first six seasons, a 27.9 percent clip, Mbah a Moute has hit 180 threes at a 34.5 percent rate in the last four seasons.
More importantly, Mbah a Moute is a respectable defender that could flourish in small ball lineups. Last season, according to Basketball Reference, Mbah a Moute spent 68 percent of his minutes at power forward and nine percent of his minutes as a center. With the addition of James and the lack of centers on the roster, it appears the Lakers will embrace small ball and Mbah a Moute fits perfectly into that mold.
Given the team has one roster spot left, signing Mbah a Moute over a traditional center would signal the intentions of the Lakers moving forward into the season.