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.