2015 NBA Trade Deadline: Time to Move Mbah a Moute?


The 2015 NBA Trade Deadline is closing in fast. For those of you who missed it, we last examined center Henry Sims and the potential of him being traded away to another team. So, we’ll follow that trend today and examine another Sixers’ player who may be packing their bags on February 19.

Luc Mbah a Moute

The 6’8″ forward is one of the few veterans on the team. That right there should be enough of a reason to keep him around.

He was brought over to the Sixers in a three-way trade that sent forward Thaddeus Young to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and was believed to be brought over mainly due to his relationship with Sixers rookie Joel Embiid, a fellow Cameroonian whom he helped bring to America.

However, as we’ve come to learn, Luc Mbah a Moute is more than just a mentor to Embiid. Luc has played in 46 games this season and averages 10 points and 4.9 rebounds a game.

Reasons For a Trade

His greatest attribute would seem to be his tenacious defense, where he is frustrating opposing players with a 105 defensive rating. For a team like Philadelphia whom ranked 27 in overall defense last year, Luc’s defensive presence is a great asset. He guards the perimeter well, and has even shown a willingness to mix it up in the paint with guys like Zach Randolph.

A team seeking a backup forward with above average defense would be willing a trade a few assets to land him. Especially considering Moute’s solid offensive production.

A weak spot for the Sixers this season has been their three-point shooting (or lack thereof). In his last five games, Luc is shooting 38.9 percent from beyond the arc. He’s had a hot hand as of late, and is looking more aggressive in the paint, shooting 41.7 percent overall.

More from Sixers News

Due to Mbah a Moute’s recent offensive production, Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie might be able to drive up the asking price just a bit more.

Say…a few second-round picks?

Also, it may be advantageous of Hinkie to try to trade the forward. With his scoring and defensive capabilities, Luc isn’t exactly helping us stay within the company of the Timberwolves and New York Knicks.

Feb 7, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (12) drives to the net during the fourth quarter of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers beat the Hornets 89-81. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Plus, he’s an unrestricted free agent come next season and despite his friendship with Embiid, isn’t a sure shot to sign back with the team. So it may be better to get something back for someone who may walk away for nothing at the end of the season.

Reasons to Keep Him

Though it doesn’t appear anywhere on a stat sheet, Mbah a Moute’s leadership on and off the court is vital for a locker room in short supply of NBA experience. Outside of Jason Richardson and Andrei Kirilenko, the team has a combined 16 years of experience in the league, with Moute contributing six of them.

Though the forward is a free agent come season’s end, he still has the potential of resigning with the Sixers. And if the team’s plan is to eventually start improving in the win column, keeping around a veteran player with familiarity in the team’s system and players would prove valuable.

And though his presence on the team isn’t solely to mentor Embiid, it’s certainly part of it. It’s rumored that the twenty-year-old Embiid is a bit immature (no kidding, a young man acting immature).

If such is the case, and Joel’s hilarious tweets—among other things— grow to be bothersome, coach Brett Brown is going to need some help getting the young center to focus, and who else better than his fellow countryman, and friend Luc abah a Moute?

Moving to a new country and being introduced to the spoils of America could play a lot on a young person’s psychology. Having to deal with a drastic change in your life—even if it’s becoming a multi-millionaire—would be difficult for most adults to cope with.

Moute, however, has been on a journey to the NBA similar to that of Embiid, and could possibly help the big man concentrate on becoming not only a greater basketball player, but a person in general.

Moute would bring back some decent assets if traded. But overall, it would be better to keep him around to help lead a young team and mentor one of the Sixers’ future stars. I believe he stays.

What do you think?