As doors reopened to NBA players at team facilities across the country on Thursday, front offices around the league began assessing the value of players they can add to their teams. High on the list of many teams is defensive stopper Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
Luc is a restricted free agent and can field contract offers from any NBA team this offseason starting on December 9th when free agency officially gets underway. However, the Milwaukee Bucks have the right to match any of those offers. Milwaukee GM John Hammond said Thursday that the Bucks have every intention of exercising that right.
« We appreciate Luc and what he’s done for us as an organization and what he stands for, » Hammond said. « We have every intention of bringing Luc back. »
Luc Richard’s value goes beyond what can be identified on the standard NBA stat sheet and as Jeff Zillgit of USA Today writes, his impact is something that surprised even Luc himself.
« The advanced stats … were surprising to some extent on how impactful I was defensively, » Luc said. « I never have looked at the stats, not beyond looking at a stat sheet after the game. I don’t try to get caught up in the numbers. »
But numbers compiled by Synergy Sports and cited by Zillgit tell an in depth story of Luc’s value to any team that might persue in him this offseason.
According to Synergy Sports, one of the premier statistical analysis tools used by NBA teams, Mbah a Moute:
- Allowed fewer points per play than Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tony Allen and Andre Iguodala.
- Forced a higher number of turnovers while guarding an opponent in isolation than any of those four players.
- Helped the Bucks give up fewer points with him on the court than the previous season (and Milwaukee’s defensive efficiency improved in each of his three seasons).
- Is one of 13 players with at least 400 rebounds, 60 steals and 25 blocks in each of the last three seasons.
- Averaged 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds last season but got the most rebounds per 40 minutes of any small forward and had the fifth-most free throws per field goal attempted among small forwards (behind such stalwarts as James and Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce).
Hammond says the Bucks are well aware of Luc’s value and his ability to grow as an offensive player to become an all-around force.
« He’s a relentless worker, » he told the Journal-Sentinel, « and if you’re willing to put in the time I think you have an opportunity to improve. »
Offers can’t come in officially until December 9th, so until then Luc will continue to workout and wait to see where he will be spending the 2011-2012 season. He told USA Today that the idea of free agency brings mixed emotions, but he’s eager to see what’s next for him.
« Free agency can be a little stressful because you never know what the situation is going to be, » Mbah a Moute said of his status with the Bucks. » But it’s also exciting to be in this position. I’ve put in the work and have a future where teams can use my service. »
- Mbah a Moute makes himself valuable as an NBA free agent (USA Today, December 1, 2011)
- Udrih on floor as doors open at Cousins Center (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, December 1, 2011)