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  • Kathy Willens / The Associated Press

    Luc Mbah a Moute, left, being fouled by Brooklyn's Keith Bogans, played small forward and power forward with Milwaukee.

  • AL DIAZ / Associated Press

    Milwaukee Bucks' Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, second from left, struggles to hold onto the ball around Miami Heat defenders in the third quarter of Game 4 in their first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Milwaukee.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    Forward Luc Mbah a Moute, left, battling for control of the ball against the Kings in a March game, will play in Sacramento following a deal made Wednesday.

Kings agree to acquire Mbah a Moute from Bucks

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 9, 2013 - 4:59 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 - 2:38 pm

LAS VEGAS - Luc Mbah a Moute is known for being a gritty defender who's willing to do the dirty work.

He's also not the ball-demanding type on the offensive end.

In short, he's exactly what the Kings need.

The Kings agreed to acquire Mbah a Moute (pronounced BAH ah MOO-tay) from the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday for two second-round picks (2016 and 2018).

The deal will become official Wednesday when the league moratorium on transactions is lifted.

Shortly after news broke of the deal, Mbah a Moute posted this on Twitter: "Just landed in Cameroon and got told i've been traded to Sacramento!!"

Mbah a Moute, 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, gives the Kings the kind of small forward they have been seeking since ending their pursuit of free agent Andre Iguodala, who agreed to play for the Warriors. Mbah a Moute also offers defensive flexibility, as he also has played power forward.

Much like his aggressive pursuit of Iguodala, Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro went after a player he's liked for some time.

Mbah a Moute has two years left on a four-year, $19 million contract he signed as a restricted free agent in December 2011. With D'Alessandro among Denver's front-office staff, the Nuggets signed him to the offer sheet, and the Bucks matched it.

Mbah a Moute was a second-round pick out of UCLA in 2008. He's appeared in 335 games (233 starts) with averages of 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.

John Salmons finished last season as the Kings' starting small forward. He has one year left on his contract with a team option for the 2014-15 season.

Upgrading the position has been a Kings priority for years. They drafted players such as Omri Casspi, traded for youngsters such as Donté Greene and brought in veteran free agents who didn't work out such as Antoine Wright and Ime Udoka.

Salmons was acquired in a draft-day trade in 2011, but he went through an extended shooting slump that led to him being benched and Tyreke Evans being moved to small forward.

Last season, Salmons reclaimed the starting job after another trade acquisition, James Johnson, struggled on offense.

Mbah a Moute's statistics indicate he isn't a nightly offensive threat. The Kings, however, aren't looking for him to score.

The hope is his intensity, particularly on defense, will rub off on a team known for not playing much defense. The Kings allowed a league-worst 105.1 points per game last season.

Acquiring Mbah a Moute could end talk of Sacramento acquiring free-agent shooting guard Monta Ellis. With Mbah a Moute owed $4.6 million next season, the Kings have about $1.4 million under the salary cap. Signing Ellis likely would require Sacramento using the amnesty provision to clear Salmons' $7.6 million salary and dumping the salaries of one or two more players to clear the space to meet Ellis' contract demands.

Unless a team would be willing to take on the salaries of players such as Chuck Hayes, Jimmer Fredette or Marcus Thornton, it would take a sign-and-trade to make an Ellis contract work if he's seeking to be paid about $12 million per season.

Ellis played for coach Michael Malone with the Warriors before being traded to Milwaukee in 2012.

On Wednesday, the Kings also can officially sign free-agent forward Carl Landry. The sign-and-trade of Evans to the New Orleans Pelicans will be completed Wednesday, too.

The Kings will acquire point guard Greivis Vasquez from New Orleans and two second-round picks from the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the three-team deal.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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