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Rockets eye Melo after losing Mbah a Moute

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Cameroonian free agent forward Luc Mbah a Moute has agreed to a one-year NBA deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, ESPN reported Monday, pushing the Houston Rockets to pursue Carmelo Anthony.

The Rockets, led by NBA Most Valuable Player and scoring leader James Harden and backcourt partner Chris Paul, advanced within one win of the NBA Finals last season before losing to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Now they are faced with the loss of two forwards in Mbah a Moute, who came to the Rockets last year from the Clippers and will return for $4.3 million, and Trevor Ariza, who signed a one-year deal with Phoenix last week worth $15 million.

The moves add to uncertainty for the Rockets around Swiss free agent center Clint Capela, who has not agreed to a new deal.

Facing a major frontline talent loss, the Rockets are hoping to add four-time US Olympian Carmelo Anthony, who is expected to have his contract bought out by Oklahoma City and become a free agent before the end of next week.

Mbah a Moute, who had a one-year deal worth $2.1 million last season, turns 32 in September. He averaged 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals a game last season for the Rockets in his 10th NBA campaign.

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