Luc Mbah a Moute (Image c/o Lori M. Nichols/South Jersey Times)
When fans look back at the 2014-15 Philadelphia 76ers many, many years from now, there are going to be a few things that stand out. One will be how there was no way that the rest of the NBA should have let K.J. McDaniels fall to the second-round of the draft. Another will be how Michael Carter-Williams began to take this team and put it on his shoulders in an effort to become the leader it so desperately needed. And people will also remember that no matter how deep a hole the Sixers found themselves in, they always fought hard and never gave up.
And towards the end of the list, fans will also wonder how the hell Luc Mbah a Moute managed to stay in the league as long as he has.
Because if we’re being honest here? He kinda sucks.
Now in his seventh year in the NBA, we can’t even say that Mbah a Moute never lived up to his potential, because the potential was apparently never there. Drafted 37th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks out of UCLA, he did have some moments in his rookie season where it seemed he might be a solid, if unspectacular, power forward with great defensive skills. But apparently he peaked that rookie season and it has been downhill ever since.
Coming to the Sixers with Alexey Shved as part of the Kevin Love deal, Mbah a Moute seems to be having a breakout season, averaging 8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.3 blocks per game, which for him are record-setting numbers.
And to think, the Sixers are only paying him $4.3 million this season.
Watching Mbah a Moute play is to see everything that is bad about the whole idea of tanking in one player. Here you have a marginally talented power forward who under normal circumstances wouldn’t even be in the league this season because no one would want to pay him. But here come the Sixers, willing to take him and his contract because it does nothing but help further the plans of Sam Hinkie.
Of course, some will say that Mbah a Moute isn’t here to help win games. That the real reason the Sixers agreed to take him was because of his relationship with rookie center Joel Embiid, who looks at Mbah a Moute as a mentor and father figure. He travelled back to Cameroon with Embiid when his brother died and has been helping him adjust to life in the NBA.
But is that enough to keep Mbah a Moute on the roster past this season? The answer should be a resounding no. Which means that Mbah a Moute is a one-year rental and a bad one at that.
So why keep him around for the duration of this season? Yes, if you are on board with the Sam Hinkie Plan, you want to see him on the floor every night, playing terrible basketball. But if you want to see the 76ers win at least a few games, he is taking up a valuable roster spot that could be filled by a young talent who would gain real NBA experience and maybe be a part of the Sixers’ long-term plans.
Because you can be sure Luc Mbah a Moute isn’t.
Word is that Furkan Aldemir is arriving in Philadelphia this week to sign with the Sixers. The 6’9” power forward/center is 23-years old and could have a real impact on this team. The Sixers will have to make room on the roster to accommodate him and if they were smart, they would say good-bye to Mbah a Moute. He has no future on this team or, unfortunately, in the NBA.