With several days having passed since many of the NBA’s top free agents agreed to sign new contracts, including more than a few who will be joining new teams in the 2018-19 season, Houston Rockets center Clint Capela has yet to agree on a new contract. And it’s not like the Rockets haven’t been trying to sway him with some big money offers, as suggested by recent rumors behind the scenes.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Capela was offered a five-year, $85 million contract at the start of the month, a deal that could reach $90 million if incentives are figured in. This offer, as noted by the publication, would have made the 24-year-old Capela one of the NBA’s highest-paid free agent centers this offseason. The offer, however, reportedly remained unsatisfactory to the Swiss big man’s camp, which is supposedly looking for a contract more similar to the four-year deals signed in 2016 by the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Steven Adams, both of which are worth around $100 million.
In a separate report, Sporting News wrote that the Rockets were originally rumored to be offering Clint Capela a contract worth about $13.25 million a year, but were soon believed to be offering a four-year, $60 million contracts, which would have paid him an average of $15 million a year. As such, the new report suggests that Houston might have sweetened its original offer, only for Capela to remain “unhappy” with how negotiations have been going so far.
Should Capela sign the Houston Rockets’ $4.7 million qualifying offer, that would give him veto power over any trade swung for him in the 2018-19 NBA season, and allow him to enter unrestricted free agency next summer. The Houston Chronicle cited a “person with knowledge of the team’s thinking,” who believes that the Rockets have a good chance of signing the 6-foot-10 center, even if it means matching a rival team’s offer sheet, per the terms of Capela’s restricted free agency.
“He’s a restricted free agent so we have a pretty good chance,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni previously commented, as quoted by the Houston Chronicle.
A former first-round draft pick, Clint Capela has thrived on the Houston Rockets, particularly last year, as he put up career-high numbers playing alongside the All-Star backcourt of James Harden and Chris Paul. Capela averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocked shots in the 2017-18 season and is one of the Rockets’ top returning defenders, following Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute’s recent departures via free agency.