ESPN Sources: Another team engaged with the Houston Rockets in trade talks for center Clint Capela: The Boston Celtics.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2020
In order to trade for Capela, the Celtics would have to match $14.9M in salary. That means Boston would have to send out approximately $10 million in salary. That makes it a tough match for the Celtics without trading at least one or two key rotation players like Daniel Theis ($5M) or Enes Kanter ($4.8M). Boston could also go the multiple players for one route and attempt to cobble together enough salary with players on smaller deals like Vincent Poirier ($2.5M), Romeo Langford ($3.4M) and several other players making near the minimum.
Boston and Houston could also involve other teams in the trade, but that wouldn’t remove the Celtics need to send out at least $10 million in salary to acquire Capela.
The Rockets' primary goal seems to be to collect assets in the form of draft picks to be used in subsequent deals according to Wojnarowski:
Sources: The Atlanta Hawks remain a possible landing spot for Capela too. Rockets are pursuing first-round picks to flip into a deal for a wing player and another center. Robert Covington and Andre Iguodala are among several Houston targets. https://t.co/uWXqPqEx6T— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2020
The Celtics have two extra first round picks coming their way from the Memphis Grizzlies (top-6 protected this season, unprotected in 2021) and the Milwaukee Bucks (top-7 protected this season, unprotected in 2021). Boston also owns all of their own future first round picks.
Capela is averaging 13.9 points on 62.9% shooting, 13.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game this season. He’s missed three of the Rockets last four games due to a sore heel.
Capela is 25-years-old, and doesn’t turn 26 until mid-May. He’s under contract through the 2022-23 season at:
- 2019-20 - $14.9 million
- 2020-21 - $16 million
- 2021-22 - $17.1 million
- 2022-23 - $18.2 million
There are no options in Capela’s contract, but his deal does include several performance bonuses that are tied to rebounding and defense.
Capela became a starter mid-way through the 2015-16 season for Houston and has started in 239 of 245 games over the past four seasons. He’s averaged a points and rebounds double-double for each of the last three seasons and led the NBA in field goal percentage in 2017-18 at 65.2%.
The 2019-20 NBA trade deadline is this Thursday, February 6th at 3:00 PM EST.