Clint Capela and the Rockets, who selected him at No. 25 in this year’s draft, are at a “minor impasse” in contract negotiations, league sources tell Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. The friction stems from Houston’s initial insistence that the big man remain overseas for another year, while Capela’s representatives were pushing for him to join the NBA club immediately.
The rookie scale for player contracts limits just how far apart the sides could be in salary discussions, as the Rockets are required by the CBA to pay between 80%-120% of the $991,000 amount slotted for the 25th pick. Teams typically pay the full 120%. Haynes adds that there is also disagreement over who will pay what portion of his $500K buyout with his current French team in order to bring him stateside.
Until recently, the Rockets have been on a long march toward clearing as much cap space as possible to make room for prime free agents LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, or Chris Bosh, and stashing Capela overseas would have kept additional salary off their books for the 2014/15 season. However, the Rockets primary targets have chosen other teams, assuming Anthony doesn’t revisit the possibility of joining Houston over the Knicks or Bulls. The Rockets dangled the No. 25 pick in trade talks before selecting Capela, and other teams have shown interest since in acquiring the Swiss big, although there have been no reports of Houston being willing to move him.