Rockets look to deal center Clint Capela
Center Clint Capela, benched by a heel injury, has been the subject of transfer talks by the Houston Rockets as Thursday’s NBA trade deadline approaches.
The 25-year-old from Geneva, who played in France as a youth, was a first-round pick of the Rockets in the 2014 NBA Draft and has averaged 12.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots over 334 games for Houston.
ESPN and the Houston Chronicle say the Rockets seek an outside shooter and are willing to part with Capela, who has missed the team’s past three games.
The Rockets have gone 3-0 in the span using a lineup of players 6-feet-6 (1.98m) and under, a small lineup that has allowed for fast-paced play but left Houston suffering in rebounding.
At 31-18, the Rockets rank fifth in the Western Conference but are only three games behind the second-place Los Angeles Clippers.
ESPN mentioned Capela interest from the Atlanta Hawks, who at 13-37 share the worst record in the Eastern Conference with Cleveland, and says the club has also looked at New Zealander Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Minnesota forward Robert Covington could be the sort of wing player the Rockets covet, but Houston might need to involve a third team to provide the assets in players or draft picks to make such a deal work for the Timberwolves.
Capela, whose contract is set to pay him $51.3 million over the next three seasons, is averaging 13.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots a game this season.
The Chronicle says Rockets sources call the conversations about Capela “business as usual” as the trade deadline nears.
Houston’s James Harden, seeking a third consecutive NBA scoring title, leads the league with 35.7 points a game while backcourt partner Russell Westbrook has added 26.4 points a game.
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