NBA Rumors: Celtics Could Trade Daniel Theis And First-Round Pick To Hawks For Clint Capela

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot #9 of the Brooklyn Nets fouls Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks during the first half at Barclays Center on December 30, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
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The Boston Celtics are one of the teams that are expected to be aggressive on the market before the 2021 trade deadline. They may currently hold the best record in the Eastern Conference, but with the improvements made by rival teams like the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks, most people believe that they need to make major roster upgrades in order to have a better chance of winning an NBA championship. One of the players that they could target during the 2020-21 NBA season is veteran center Clint Capela of the Atlanta Hawks.

In a recent article, Greg Patuto of NBA Analysis Network proposed a trade idea on how the Celtics would be able to land Capela before the 2021 trade deadline. In the hypothetical scenario, Boston would be sending a package that includes Daniel Theis and a 2021 first-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Capela. To make the deal work under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the Celtics would also need to use the $28.5M trade exception they earned from sending Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets.

If the proposed scenario would push through, Patuto believes that it would help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.

“This is a small trade but it would improve both sides in different ways. The Boston Celtics are looking for an improvement in the frontcourt and this is what Clint Capela would do for the frontcourt. In return, the Celtics would not have to give up too much. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks would get a replacement big man with experience in Daniel Theis. He would take over for Capela and team up with Collins down low. Atlanta would also get a first-round pick in return.”

Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks attempts a shot against Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first quarter of their game at Spectrum Center on January 09, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images

Capela would be a great addition to the Celtics. His arrival in Boston could help them improve their performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scorer under the basket, a monster rebounder, and a quality rim protector. This season, the 26-year-old center is averaging 10.0 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 1.0 block while shooting 50.7 percent from the field, per ESPN.

Having a starting-caliber center like Capela on their roster would give the Celtics a better matchup against powerhouse teams with dominant big men like Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), DeAndre Jordan (Nets), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers).

Meanwhile, the suggested trade would also make sense for the Hawks, especially if they don’t view Capela as part of their long-term future. By sending him to Boston, they would be receiving a cheaper replacement at the center position in Theis and a future first-round selection. Theis could temporarily serve as their starting center while they are waiting for Onyeka Okongwu to develop into a bigger role.