NBA Rumors: Celtics, Rockets Could Explore Al Horford-For-Clint Capela Trade, Per ‘NBC Sports’

Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2019 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

After suffering another massive defeat from the hands of the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, in the NBA Playoffs 2019, rumors and speculations have started to circulate that the Houston Rockets are planning to make a huge roster overhaul in the 2019 NBA offseason. In a Twitter post, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey has made all their players and future draft picks available in trade discussions. Several Rockets’ players have already been linked to numerous trade rumors in the past weeks, including 25-year-old center Clint Capela.

One of the NBA teams who expressed strong interest in acquiring Clint Capela from the Rockets next summer is the Boston Celtics. On Twitter, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders revealed that the Celtics are “engaged pretty seriously” on Capela.

“The Celtics from what I have heard engaged pretty seriously on Clint Capella… have had some level of talks with Terry Rozier on a new deal. Everything is very fluid at this stage in the draft/trade process. It’s finding out what you can do.”

As of now, it remains a mystery what type of trade assets the Celtics are willing to give up to acquire Clint Capela. However, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, a deal that will send Capela to Boston in exchange for Al Horford will be beneficial for both the Celtics and the Rockets. Forsberg suggested two ways on how the Celtics-Rockets trade could be made possible.

“Horford could either opt into the $30.1 million final year of his contract and be dealt to Houston in a deal that could bring back, say, Clint Capela and assets. Or Horford could opt out and the teams could try to find a workable sign-and-trade in which Horford still gets longer-term security and a chance to chase a ring.”

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The deal makes a lot of sense for the Celtics if they fail to re-sign Kyrie Irving in the 2019 NBA free agency. Instead of emptying their treasure chest to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, the Celtics will be replacing Al Horford with a younger center who fits the timeline of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. As Kyler noted, if the Celtics succeed to add Capela and Irving leaves, they may also consider bringing Terry Rozier back on their roster.

Meanwhile, Al Horford will be giving the Rockets a five-time NBA All-Star center who has plenty of playoff experience. What makes Horford a better fit with the Rockets than Clint Capela is his ability to shoot the ball from beyond the arc. In 68 games he played this season, Horford averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.3 blocks on 53.5 percent shooting from the field and 36.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc.