SUNDAY, 6:45pm: The Rockets have picked up the option, Feigen reports. The team has yet to make an announcement.
SEPTEMBER 28TH: The Rockets will exercise their team option to keep center Clint Capela on his rookie scale contract for the 2016/17 season, a source tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The formal decision on the option, worth $1,296,240, is due November 2nd, nearly a year before the option season begins.
It’s no shock to see Houston poised to make the move, since most rookie scale team options are picked up, even though Capela saw action in only 12 games and scored a total of 32 points in the regular season this past year, his first in the NBA after the Rockets made him the 25th overall pick in 2014. Capela took a step forward in the postseason, when he saw minutes in place of the injured Donatas Motiejunas. The rookie appeared in more playoff games (17) than regular season contests and averaged 3.4 points in 7.5 minutes per postseason game.
The option will put a slight squeeze on Houston’s cap flexibility for next summer, though the team will only have about $45.6MM in commitments once the option formally goes on the books. That doesn’t count a player option worth more than $23MM for Dwight Howard, Ty Lawson‘s non-guaranteed salary in excess of $13.2MM, or any money for Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas, whose contracts will expire at season’s end if they don’t reach extensions with Houston by that same November 2nd date. The salary cap is projected to hit $89MM next summer.
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