There is currently a $100 million question plaguing the Rockets. Read below as to why they need to pay Clint Capela, and do it soon.
After a very sudden improvement in his sophomore season in 2015-16, Capela became a starter the following season when Dwight Howard departed and signed with the Atlanta Hawks. He averaged 13 points and 9 rebounds per game, and then last year, he averaged 13.9 points per game, and 11 rebounds per game. Capela has proved his worth to the Rockets over the past few years, and has earned the opportunity to make big bucks.
Already paying Chris Paul and James Harden “super” max contracts, the salary cap on Houston is tight. That’s why we’ve seen Trevor Ariza leave them to go join the Phoenix Suns. Also in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, this team really doesn’t have a ton of money. Capela though, is invaluable to this team. His ability to protect the rim, and run the floor well with the Rockets guards cannot be overstated. These are vital skills in today’s game, and the lobs he dunked from Harden and Paul helped keep the offense going last year.
The issue they have with Capela is that they are currently only offering him 4-years and $60 million in negotiations. He was looking to make north of $4-years and $100 million. This is a similar contract to what Rudy Gobert signed in Utah and Steven Adams signed in OKC. OKC is paying PG and Russ “super” max money, and are able to just afford their center. There should be no question that the Rockets need to make Clint Capela their priority. If he were to leave, they would have very limited options at the center spot. The only other natural big man they have, is Zhou Qi, who has had almost no NBA experience to date.
Working in the Rockets favor, is that it seems no team has tried to offer Capela an offer sheet yet, and so they are still the frontrunners. No matter how deep their pockets may have to go for it, they need to cough up the money and pay. Chris Paul came back (albeit, for probably a bit too much money) in order to “run it back again”, and how can you do that while losing multiple starters. If they are able to package Ryan Anderson in a trade, they can add a lot of money to the cap, and it can help them a little bit with finances.
Every day though, that they don’t give Capela the offer he wants, is another day gone, and one where things are not great in Houston. With Trevor Ariza already leaving, they decided to pay James Ennis as a replacement. They are giving Clint Capela bottom billing, which is not great. He clearly has a great relationship with the organization, and the hope will be that this fact shines through.
Stay tuned for more, on whether or not Houston comes to their senses and pays Capela.