The Houston Rockets are reportedly trying to make a splash before the NBA trade deadline, with a report indicating that the team is actively shopping center Clint Capela to clubs in the Eastern Conference and could be ready to strike a multi-team deal.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski took to Twitter to report the potential trade action on Sunday, noting that the Rockets are trying to get some kind of deal in place for the talented big man. It was not clear what the Rockets are asking in return, but the team may be trying to bolster their strengths ahead of a playoff run. The Rockets are currently the No. 5 seed in a very competitive Western Conference but still have the potential to move to the top of the conference with a strong push to end the year. There will likely be a very tough road to the NBA Finals in the west this year, with both the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers looking built for long runs.
There would likely be a few teams interested in the dominant big man, who is averaging 13.9 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks this season. The SB Nation site Peachtree Hoops noted that the Hawks are said to be among the teams interested, and he could be even more attractive due to his team-friendly contract.
“As for Capela, one of the more intriguing points of discussion in any pursuit of his services would be an appetizing contract,” the report noted.
“The veteran center is under team control through the 2022-23 season, earning $14.9 million this season, $16 million for 2020-21, $17.1 million for 2021-22 and $18.2 million for 2022-23. That is a more than reasonable price for a quality starter at the position and, given his age, Capela would seemingly fit in well with what the Hawks are trying to build.”
If the Rockets do trade Capela, they could find a replacement in another veteran big man. Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report suggested that the Rockets could be interested in landing Memphis Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder in a deal ahead of the trade deadline. The report noted that the Rockets have enough assets to pull off this deal, as they have both their 2020 and 2022 first-round picks. This could be a significant addition especially if the Rockets can find a partner for Capela, as Crowder would bring the defensive presence needed when the Rockets have the more offensive-minded James Harden and Russell Westbrook on the court together.