Analyst Links Houston Rockets To Clint Capela

Clint Capela, Rockets, Hawks, NBA Rumors
Dec 20, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela (15) attempts to grab a rebound during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have been involved in several NBA Trade rumors leading up to the deadline on Thursday afternoon. After years of toiling near the bottom of the league’s standings, Houston is looking to make a push for the postseason.

They made those intentions clear with how they handled business in the offseason. The Rockets were active in free agency, signing Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks to large contracts and bringing in veteran Jeff Green as well.

Those three have helped change the culture of the franchise after some abysmal seasons post the Mike D’Antoni era. But, the Rockets have begun slipping down the Western Conference standings, as they are 8-11 in 2024.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks, 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Houston Rockets Updates

Given how competitive the Western Conference is, one extended stretch of poor play can lead to you sinking in the standings. 23-26 would have Houston in ninth place in the Eastern Conference; instead, they are in 11th.

Looking to make a move ahead of the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, the Rockets have been active. They attempted to make a splash for Mikal Bridges of the Brooklyn Nets but were turned down. Jalen Green is generating trade buzz around the league and could be on the move once Houston starts consolidating their youth.

If they are going to accomplish one thing ahead of the deadline, it should be addressing the depth behind Alperen Sengun. Sengun is in the midst of a breakout, but Houston isn’t afraid of spending to address the need behind him; they did offer a contract to Brook Lopez in free agency after all.

Who could the team target? In the opinion of Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, Clint Capela of the Atlanta Hawks would be the perfect acquisition.

“Houston is the obvious Clint Capela team if he gets traded. He’s likely used to more minutes than the Rockets could offer, but he’s obviously familiar with the organization and the Rockets could send the Hawks the expiring money they’re likely looking for. And who knows. Sengun is at least trying 3’s now. Maybe a year from now he’s making enough of them to at least give the two of them a few minutes together,” Quinn wrote.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks, 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Houston Rockets Updates

Capela played the first six seasons of his NBA career with the Rockets before landing in Atlanta as part of a four-team trade in 2020. As Quinn noted, going to the bench likely isn’t what Capela wants, but the Rockets are a franchise that he knows well and vice versa.

Atlanta would love to move Capela after working out an extension with Okyeka Okongwu prior to the 2023-24 season. Okongwu is the future center of the Hawks and the cap-conscious franchise would love to make that move happen sooner than later.

Making the money work is rather straightforward, as the Rockets can piece together expiring contracts, helping the Hawks clear some salary. Capela would fortify Houston’s frontcourt, and as Quinn suggested, with Sengun expanding his offensive arsenal, the two could eventually see the floor as a tandem for stretches of time.

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