Rockets Rumors: Capela, Luxury Tax, Anthony

In the wake of multiple reports suggesting that the Rockets and Clint Capela aren’t close to reaching a new deal, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com provides some specific details on the negotiations between the two sides.

Sources tell MacMahon that Houston’s initial offer to Capela was in the neighborhood of $60MM for four years. However, the young center is believed to be seeking a deal similar to the one Steven Adams signed with the Thunder — $100MM over four years.

Accepting an offer in the $60-70MM range would mean earning a lower annual salary than several lesser centers around the NBA, so it makes sense that Capela would be seeking a larger deal. Still, he’ll have to be careful about overplaying his hand. Only the Hawks and Kings still have the cap room necessary to top a $15MM-per-year offer, and neither club seems eager to use its remaining space on a center.

Capela could accept his qualifying offer and hope for stronger outside offers as an unrestricted free agent next summer, but that’s a risky move. That qualifying offer is worth less than $5MM, so if Capela suffers a major injury during the 2018/19 season – like DeMarcus Cousins did in a contract year – he’d regret not having accepted Houston’s best long-term proposal.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • Although the Rockets have already lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, new team owner Tilman Fertitta is adamant that the luxury tax isn’t influencing Houston’s roster decisions, as MacMahon details. “We know we’re going to be in the luxury tax, and if you want to compete for a championship, I feel like unless you get real lucky, you’re going to be in the luxury tax,” Fertitta said on Monday. “So it is what it is. … It never even came up in any discussion.”
  • General manager Daryl Morey acknowledged that the Ariza and Mbah a Moute departures will hurt, but sounds optimistic that the team will find a way to fill those newly-created roster holes. “Both Trevor and Mbah a Moute were a big part of our team,” Morey said, per MacMahon. “That’s part of my job and our staff’s job is to put together a new group for this year. We feel confident. We need our best team on April 15. We’re going to either sign or trade or something to get us back to where we need to be, and we also really like our group.”
  • Fertitta also expressed confidence about the Rockets’ roster: “We feel like we were a Chris Paul injury away from being in the Finals, and we feel really good about this year. I think come opening night, I think everybody’s going to be really impressed with the team that we have on the floor.”
  • Within MacMahon’s piece, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms that the Rockets plan to pursue Carmelo Anthony once he’s waived or bought out by Oklahoma City. Many executives around the NBA reportedly view Houston as the frontrunner to land Anthony, and Wojnarowski noted in a tweet that the Rockets are “determined” to sign him.
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13 thoughts on “Rockets Rumors: Capela, Luxury Tax, Anthony

  1. Hopefully for the Rockets Carmelo will offset a little bit of the loss of Ariza and Luc. I think he has a lot of game left and he’s still a dead-eye shooter and scorer.

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  2. dust44

    Take the QO have a good year and set yourself up for a real payday. This offseason has been weird in terms of who’s getting paid. Wait till next year when there’s a lot of open cap space

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  3. formerlyz

    I would have offered a little less than that, in this market. $14 million per would have been the most I’d have gone. Capela should take this offer.

    As important as I think Ariza is to that team, I feel like they do have some avenues to be ok. I feel like they’re deeper this year, and have some good young guys that can defend. Regardless, Harden needs to play more off the ball. Chris Paul shouldn’t be watching him dribble from the corner like a glorified Patrick Beverly

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  4. Mr_KLC

    I believe the offer given Capella is fair. The kid is a real hard worker, but I truly believe that a good portion of his success is based on the system he is playing in.

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  5. Thou protest too loudly. If not the luxury tax, then what? Ariza and MbM proved to be great fits as wing players in MDA’s system – defend multiple positions while operating offensively as low maintenance floor spacers. Neither signed for anything unreasonable. Signing MbM would have required use of the TxMLE, but so what?

    Melo will be subtraction by addition. He’s doesn’t defend (at any spot), and he’s spent his career as a ball dominant iso player. In OKC, at the pleading of his coach and teammates, he made some half-ass attempts to be a less ball dominant and even a floor spacer. He wasn’t very effective and, more importantly, has said multiple times he won’t do that again. Rockets must be placating CP3 and maybe Harden too with this move. I can’t believe either Morey or MDA want Melo. I also can’t believe they were in favor of letting Ariza and MbM walk.

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  6. Luckylefty2

    Adams, Noel, Aaron Gordon,Jokic, etc were all offered bigger contracts than capela that’s BS.

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  7. x%sure

    HOU has 4 center backups. Nene is 35, two have barely played, and Tarik Black 26 was cut back last year and pressed, and is still FA.

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  8. Bryzzo2016

    Another ball stopping iso player for Houston? Yep, Anthony sounds like a perfectly terrible fit. He was bad last year, no reason to think he won’t continue to be bad. I think Houston is greatly underplaying the importance of Ariza and Mau on the defensive end.

    Harden is an absolute joke defensively, Anthony would be just as bad. Their defense is already a lot worse than last year and this is assuming they indeed do re sign Capella. Why would the Thunder buy out Anthony? It’s not like they’re rebuilding, it’s because he’s a dinosaur, his style a play is almost as tired and old as his legs. I’m really not digging the direction Morey is going this offseason

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  9. Adams, Noel, Gordon… yes they are as bad as Capela, but man don’t put Jokic, there he is a generational talent, the guy can one day be running for MVP, which Capela won’t, Jokic is up there with DMC, Embiid & KAT, Capela is a good player but will never be one of the best centers, right now I still take DH12, Drummond, DJ, Gobert & probably I am missing someone ahead of him.

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