After falling short of achieving their goals in the 2018-19 NBA season, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey has reportedly made all their players and future draft picks available in trade discussions, according to a Twitter post by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Marc Stein of the New York Times confirmed Wojnarowski’s report on his Twitter account, and added that the Rockets have been gauging the market for starting center Clint Capela in the recent days.
Liam McKeone of The Big Lead recently created a list of potential landing spots for Clint Capela in the 2019 NBA offseason. Among the NBA teams he considered as a “solid trade destination” for Capela is the Charlotte Hornets. McKeone believes that acquiring Capela would give the Hornets a strong chance of re-signing All-Star point guard Kemba Walker in the 2019 NBA free agency.
“If the Hornets are determined to keep Kemba Walker around, they need to make moves before free agency to prove they’re serious about contending. Capela would be a step in the right direction. Capela would provide a foundational piece with Walker as a dangerous rim-runner and an agile enough rim protector to survive against any offense that doesn’t have Steph Curry. In an ideal world, Charlotte would send Bismack Biyombo to Houston for Capela straight-up, but the Rockets would need a sweetener, since Biyombo makes $4 million more per year than Capela, albeit for three less years.”
During the 2018-19 NBA season, Kemba Walker said on numerous occasions that he intends to create something special and finish his NBA career in Charlotte. However, after failing to reach the postseason for the third straight year, Walker hinted at the possibility that he could part ways with the Hornets if they won’t make a huge roster upgrade in the 2019 NBA offseason.
Clint Capela won’t make the Hornets an instant title contender, but he will give them a double-double machine who specializes in protecting the rim. In the 67 games he played with the Rockets this season, the 25-year-old center averaged 16.6 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks on 64.8 percent shooting from the field. If the Rockets accept a trade package centered on Bismack Biyombo, the deal would be undeniably a no-brainer for the Hornets.
However, it remains a big question mark if the Rockets have any interest in acquiring Bismack Biyombo. Trading Capela for Biyombo would definitely help the Rockets open salary cap space for the summer of 2020, but in the deal involving their starting center, Houston is expected to seek future draft picks or players that could help them become a more competitive team in the 2019-20 NBA season.