Luc Mbah a Moute leaves Rockets, agrees to deal with Clippers

Luc Mbah a Moute leaves Rockets, agrees to deal with Clippers

Houston allowed two other key contributors to leave in free agency instead of making competitive bids to keep Trevor Ariza (one year, $15 million from the Phoenix Suns) and Luc Mbah a Moute (one year, $4.3 million from the LA Clippers).

The departure appears to be the another domino to fall in the Rockets' impending pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, who is expected to receive a buyout of his contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Last week, The Oklahoman confirmed another Wojnarowski report that the Thunder has intentions of trying to find a suitable trade for Anthony before the end of the summer.

Multiple reports on Sunday said Rockets guard Chris Paul wants Anthony, a good friend of his, to join the Rockets, while Anthony is also believed to have interest in joining LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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"Both Trevor and Mbah a Moute were a big part of our team", Morey said. They could have offered Mbah a Moute up to $5.3 million, their taxpayer mid-level exception, but could have sought to save that or much of it for Anthony. That's exactly what they plan on doing this summer.

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Anthony, 34, averaged 16.2 points over 78 games for the Thunder last season. It could deliver the team over $100 million in cost savings. Stretching his contract, which involves buying out a player by paying half the amount of the deal over double the amount of time plus a year, could save the Thunder $107 million in salary and luxury tax, according to Wojnarowski.

But having lost two of their top eight scorers, including a starter in Ariza, the Rockets can't be choosy as they seek to follow up their team-record 65 victories last season.

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