According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets and GM Daryl Morey have almost their entire roster, along with their arsenal of draft picks, available for trade this offseason, as they try to upgrade their roster. What does this mean for the Celtics? It means they should look into going after Houston’s top big man: Clint Capela.
The Rockets are "actively exploring" deals for Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, and P.J. Tucker. (via @TheSteinLine)
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) June 5, 2019
Clint Capela has been a staple for the Houston Rockets these past couple of seasons. Coming off a career year, Clint Capela averaged career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and minutes during the 2018-19 season, putting up 16.6ppg, 12.7rpg, 1.4apg, and 1.5bpg on 64.8% shooting from the floor. His energy, shot-blocking ability, rebounding ability, and his ability to run the pick and roll with James Harden has made him a crucial part of Houston’s success. However, that success has not yet lead to a championship. Running into Golden State twice in the last two years, Houston has been knocked out of the playoffs without much to say. What exactly went wrong? A lot of things. One of those things, unfortunately for them, was the play of Clint Capela. During this year’s West Semis against the Golden State Warriors, Clint Capela was a near nonfactor. Averaging 8.8ppg, 10rpg, 1.5apg, and 0.5bpg on 53.5% shooting, Capela was compromised by the Warriors. Without Demarcus Cousins, Golden State went more small ball, taking Capela out of the equation. And that may be why Houston is trying to ship off of him. That $18m of cap space Capela is taking up could be used on someone more valuable in a small ball matchup like that or could be used as flexibility, with Chris Paul making $40+m in the future. For Houston, it makes sense to look into moving off of Clint Capela. But what about for Boston?
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) June 1, 2019
The Boston Celtics are currently a mystery team. No one outside of the front office really has a clear cut idea on how the Celtics roster will look next year. They have nice young pieces in Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Robert Williams, but they also have a couple of All-Star’s hitting the free-agent market in Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, along with Marcus Morris, who received a couple of All-Star votes himself last year. It’s hard to say what direction this team will go in, but if they do decide to go young, trading for Clint Capela should be an option the team should at least look into. Matching his $18m and making it fit into the salary books would be especially tough, which means some finagling would have to occur, so let’s not get into that right now. I want to talk about the fit. Clint Capela has always been known as a rim running center, who hustles his ass off and plays hard. Like I mentioned earlier, blocks shots, rebounds the ball and catches lobs. With Robert Williams still in the development stages of his career, the Celtics could use someone like Clint Capela right now. Not only could he be a mentor to the Time Lord, but his play would provide a security blanket for both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, along with any other rookies who join the young group. Having a someone who can rebound the ball or someone who you can just throw it up to his helpful. It takes a little bit of the pressure off the young guys and gives you opportunities that just wouldn’t be there before. That, in my mind, is what Clint Capela would do for this Celtics team. My only concern is the team fitting the right guard next to him. Currently, the Celtics are without a true point guard, if Kyrie Irving were to walk, which could drastically slow down offensive production from Clint Capela, as he relies on guards to get him the ball, especially in the pick and roll. Fitting someone like a Ricky Rubio next to Clint Capela could be interesting. Although they wouldn’t bring you a championship, they’d set the building blocks for what is to come in the future.
The Celtics aren’t keen on what direction they’ll take quite yet, but there’s no doubt they should look at every option on the table. Clint Capela is one of those options.
By: Seamus Zarlingo