BUCKS BEAT: Mbah a Moute draws interest

2011-12-07T16:40:00Z BUCKS BEAT: Mbah a Moute draws interestGERY WOELFEL Gwoelfel@journaltimes.com Journal Times
December 07, 2011 4:40 pm  • 

It isn't a question of whether Luc Mbah a Moute will sign an offer sheet.

Rather, it's a question of which team he will sign with.

Mbah a Moute, who has spent the first three years of his NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks, is currently a restricted free agent.

That means Mbah a Moute can entertain offers from any team, with the Bucks having the opportunity to match any offer to retain his services.

Mbah a Moute confirmed several teams are in discussions with his agent Sam Goldfeder.

"My agent has been talking to a few teams, trying to work out something,'' Mbah a Moute said in a telephone interview Wednesday from Los Angeles. "I don't know the exact number, but it's probably about five.

"I don't think those five teams are just talking to him to just talk. I'm pretty sure they're talking to him about making me an offer.

"It looks pretty promising.''

The 6-foot-8 Mbah a Moute is one of the most versatile and proficient defenders in the league. He has frequently been assigned to guard the opposition's best offensive player.

A second-round selection out of UCLA in the 2008 draft, Mbah a Moute played in 79 games last season, averaging 6.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 26.5 minutes.

Mbah a Moute wouldn't divulge the five teams that are pursuing him, but said they were from both the Eastern and Western conferences.

Mbah a Moute, who has been qualified by the Bucks for $1.09 million this season, is a cinch to see his salary skyrocket.

Some NBA officials contend Mbah a Moute will receive, at the minimum, the mid-level exemption (about $5.1 million) from some team.

There are even whispers some team may exceed the mid-level amount, knowing the Bucks would be hard-pressed to match it considering they already have invested heavily in two other forwards: recently acquired Stephen Jackson and Drew Gooden

Mbah a Moute could sign an offer sheet Friday and the Bucks would then have three days to decide whether to match it.

"I'm both excited and nervous,'' Mbah a Moute said. "I'm nervous because I don't know what's going to happen. But I'm excited to be in this position.''

* Bucks center Andrew Bogut recently Tweeted how he hopes the Bucks retain Mbah a Moute. Asked if he saw the Tweet, Mbah a Moute said, "Yeah, I did see that. I was really appreciative of Andrew's words. I have played with him three years and for a player like him to say that means a lot.''

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