Rockets Gauge Market For Capela; CP3 Also Potentially Available

After a disappointing second-round exit to the Warriors in this year’s playoffs, general manager Daryl Morey and the Rockets are showing an aggressive desire to upgrade their roster in calls to front offices, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

According to Wojnarowski, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where James Harden gets traded, but the Rockets are making virtually all of their players and picks available in discussions. Even someone like Chris Paul could be moved in the right deal, Woj adds.

Meanwhile, Marc Stein of The New York Times reports (via Twitter) that Clint Capela is among the players whose market value the Rockets have been gauging in recent days.

While the Rockets would be reluctant to move someone like Paul, who has been a key contributor to their success over the last two years, it’s not clear how much value he’d even have on the trade market. The veteran point guard’s numbers slipped a little in 2018/19 (his 15.6 PPG and .419 FG% were career lows), he’s entering his age-34 season, and he’s owed $124MM over the next three years.

Capela’s career résumé isn’t as decorated as Paul’s, but he may be the more valuable asset at this point due to a more team-friendly contract. Having missed out on some incentives that were considered likely this season, Capela has a cap hit below $15MM in 2019/20, and is under contract through 2022/23, his age-28 season.

Outside of Harden, Paul, and Capela, the only two Rockets players with guaranteed contracts for 2019/20 are Eric Gordon ($14MM) and P.J. Tucker ($8.35MM), both of whom are good values. Nene may also pick up his $3.8MM player option, while Isaiah Hartenstein, Gary Clark, Chris Chiozza, and Michael Frazier all have non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed minimum-salary deals.

Of course, the Rockets have never been shy about making their draft picks available in trade talks. The club reportedly offered the Timberwolves four future first-rounders last fall for Jimmy Butler, but Minnesota passed on that offer.

Even if Houston doesn’t make any huge moves this offseason, the roster figures to undergo a good deal of change. Rotation players like Iman Shumpert, Gerald Green, Austin Rivers, and Kenneth Faried will all be unrestricted free agents, while Danuel House is up for a new contract via restricted free agency.

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51 thoughts on “Rockets Gauge Market For Capela; CP3 Also Potentially Available

  1. davengmusic

    capela and Gordon are really the only guys worth anything outside of harden. bet Dork Elvis wishes he knew capela wouldn’t work against GS last year, before he extended him.

  2. hiflew

    I said it nearly a month ago. I expect Capela to be the centerpiece of an Anthony Davis trade. A Paul-Harden-Davis trio (with a few others sprinkled in) would have a very good chance to take the 2020 NBA title.

    • knickscavsfan

      That trade would help no one except the Rockets. New Orleans wants back future impact players or draft picks. The Rockets draft picks are not going to be in the lottery and they don’t have any young assets that they can offer either. Aside from perhaps a 3 way trade where Capela is sent in return to high picks I don’t see it happening. Capela as good as he is, isn’t likely to bring back a top 5 pick the way the Knicks and Lakers can.

      • hiflew

        Depends on how many picks the Rockets want to give up. If they give up say 4 top 4 protected firsts, to go along with Capela and maybe Gordon…that is seven years away. Seven years is a lifetime in NBA terms. The Rockets could easily be one of the worst teams in the league in 5-7 years.

        This is 5 years ago in the NBA.
        The Hawks are a 60 win team. The Grizzlies are a 55 win team. The Mavericks, Bulls, and Cavaliers are 50 win teams. The Pelicans and Wizards are 45 win teams.

        Those were some of the best lottery picks in the league this year. It’s no guarantee that you will get a good pick, but it’s no guarantee that you will get 4 picks in the 20s either. Paul is already getting older and Harden is only a few years behind him. I’d take that gamble if the Rockets are willing to offer it.

        • RenoChris

          No matter how hard you try to rationalize it that trade will never happen.

        • knickscavsfan

          That still makes ZERO sense. The Pelican’s have a small window of opportunity to build around Zion. 4-8 years sounds about right. They know what they can get a top 4 pick now. Why risk it “hoping” the Rockets picks will mean something 3-4 years from now.

          • whoneedsfacts

            Actually four unprotected picks over the next seven years and Capella would be a huge haul. The picks would start getting good fast, it’s a freaking year of AD kids that’s not a lot lol

          • hiflew

            Pairing Capela with Zion sounds like it would be a better start than say RJ Barrett with the #3 pick or Jarrett Culver with the #4 pick. Capela is a proven NBA player. You don’t have a clue how the game of Barrett or Culver or Zion for that matter will adjust to the NBA.

            If you are concerned with the limited 7-8 year window of Zion, it seems to me that putting a proven NBA player around him would makes more than ZERO sense. Plus having an extra first round pick in future drafts doesn’t necessarily have to be used as a draft pick, it can be used as trade collateral just as easily. When you have extra first rounders, you can trade consecutive year picks. That make for excellent positioning. Just look at how well the Celtics have used their future picks in past couple years.

            If you don’t get my reasoning by now, you never will, so have a nice day.

            • knickscavsfan


              This is a forum for us to play GM and make trades. You are entitled to offer up what YOU think is a fair trade. However, just because someone doesn’t agree with your offer doesn’t mean we don’t understand your reasoning. You’re reasoning seems logical to you but by reading the comments, most don’t agree.

              If you’re Griffin you were just gifted by the basketball Gods with the #1 overall pick. You have an amazing asset, easily the greatest Pelican’s player of all-time. They have the power to sit and listen to multiple offers. He MUST hit a homerun.

              Who is Clint Capela? He’s a alley-oop and dunk machine who rebounds well but offers zero in terms of play-making ability and can’t hit outside shots. Who else is similar? ZION!! Capela and Zion on the floor goes against today’s NBA. Capela clogs the floor and until Zion develops an outside shot it’s easy to see that Capela might inhibit his growth. Also, if they DID want a Capela’-like player they can just keep Randle. At least Randle is a more well-rounded scorer who can shoot the 3 and still rebound.

              With Harden, and likely Paul, under contract for the next 4-5 years I think Houston will do their best to keep them competitive. I just don’t see the Rockets being less than a 41 team in the next few years. The Detroit Pistons won 41 games this year and they’re drafting at the #15 slot. Sure, history has shown you CAN find good/great players at the 15th slot or later but those are diamond in the rough finds, not a situation where the draft was just that deep. So while having 4 1st round picks is usually a good thing, and like you said would be great trade assets but it’s no where near the opportunity to get what the Knicks, Celtics and Lakers can offer, especially since those Rocket picks will likely not be lottery picks.

              From the Knicks you could get the #3 which should be an elite talent like RJ Barrett, a high ceiling , elite prospect who might be better than Capela very quickly. You can also get a 19 yo Knox who get’s zero respect but had a healthy first year. Then there’s Mitch Robinson who, in my opinion, has a higher ceiling than Capela. In his rookie season, only playing 20 mpg, Mitch averaged 2.5 blocks per game. That’s 1 more block pg in 20 min off the bench than Capela, a starter. I can easily see Mitch being a 10-15 pts, 10+ rebound and 3-4 blocks pg PLUS a much more exciting player who can play above the rim. Also, the Knicks might be in a better draft slot (closer to the lottery) even with AD and others.

              A Pelican’s rebuild with likely selections Zion and RJ to go along with Knox, Robinson and Holiday is a really good position, even if Knox may play the same position as Zion. He can be flipped for an asset too.

              I won’t go into as much detail regarding the packages that the Lakers can offer (the #4 and some combo of Zo, Hart, Kuzma, Ingram, etc) or the Celt’s who can offer this years 14th, 20th and 22nd along with some combo of Tatum, Frazier, Brown, etc. Clearly, the Rockets can’t offer ANY player with the upside of those mentioned from at least, the Lakers and Celtics, and maybe even the Knicks depending on how Mitchell and Knox develop. And all of them have better picks, that are ready to use now and possibly next year.

              No comparison as to what competitors can offer vs the Rockets. Griffin would be fired if he accepted that package.

              • hiflew

                I read the comments, except for the way too long to bother with you just left. You and one other person are the ones that don’t agree. I stand by my opinion and if you don’t agree, so be it. Have a nice day.

    • shawn hemp

      Capela and what get AD? Newsflash bud no one wants to play harden or Paul

      • knickscavsfan

        That’s purely your opinion. Based of what reasoning? Who is perhaps closer to beating the GSW than the Rockets?

          • Gary

            This will be a major effort to sweep the Raptors.

            You’ll be able to tell in Games 1 and 2 in Toronto that the Warriors are serious about closing out at Oracle for the fans of Oakland.

            Last hurrah and respect to the city.

    • whiplash

      I think this would be good for both. Morey could try to pry a pick in this deal too, although I’m almost certain it wouldn’t be a 1st rounder. Could be a back up plan for Boston if no AD deal is done. Could be a good athletic big to pair with Kyrie, if he doesn’t leave.

      • whoneedsfacts

        The Hayward contact is worse than the Chris Paul contract, Rockets aren’t giving up a good asset for a negative asset.

        • knickscavsfan

          If healthy, and that’s the issue, Hayward would be a good fit so long as they can bring in a rebounder to replace Capela.

          I really think Boogie Cousins would be an excellent fit for the Rockets if he’s healthy for the start of the season. He gives you everything Capela does and more since he’s a playmaker who can create his own shot AND pass the ball out of the post to an open Harden. Great pick and pop or pick and roll guy too. And I think he can be had for an under market price due to the recent injuries.

          The only question I would have is, how would Boogie and Paul get along? Paul has a rep for being hard on teammates, even if warranted, and I’m not sure if Boogie would want that coming from GSW, a much better relaxed team culture.

          No matter who they bring in, Harden MUST change his attitude. It seems he either has the ball and becomes ball-dominant or he stands to the side and seems uninvolved. Like “here…you handle it this possession”.

      • knickscavsfan

        I guarantee you that the Celts are not getting AD with Hayward being the main player. He might be included for salary purposes but he better becoming with Tatum or Brown and several draft picks. Haywood isn’t the Haywood of 2 years ago. He’s also signed to 2/$65 mil. So he’s overpriced and probably in or past his prime years of play. But he can be gone in 2 years and what’s the point of that?

  3. TheTruth12

    Honestly I could see the Lakers interested in Paul and if they miss out on AD Capela as well.. Zo and Hart for Paul seems like a Pelinka move. Move Harden to point and sign Butler for a starting 5 of Harden-Gordon-Butler-Tucker-Capela with Zo and Hart off the bench. Lakers would finally get Paul and keep LeGM happy.

    • knickscavsfan

      I can’t see them subtracting Paul and thinking that inserting Zo and Hart would mean anything.. Besides, money doesn’t matchup anyway.

      • whoneedsfacts

        Lakers could take back the extra money, so the money does add up.

    • knickscavsfan

      I guarantee you that if LBJ wanted to play with Paul then Paul would’ve signed with the Lakers and not the Rockets. LBJ loves Paul and Carmelo but he also wants to win and can see that Paul is likely in his declining years. So no, don’t see it happening. Lakers aren’t a better team with Paul being the main pickup. Besides, the optics would be so bad for LBJ that he wouldn’t want that perception to exist and possibly blow up in his face.

      If the Lakers are able to take on salary (as one commentor suggested) then I think the Wizards would make an intriguing trade parter. With Wall likely to miss most of 2019-20 and Beal being 2 years away from FA maybe something involving Lonzo, Hart or Kuzma plus the #4 pick, etc might be enough to get Beal. Maybe even take back Howard’s contract?

      Wizards can start the rebuild with the PG of their future in Ball and develop around him and whoever they draft this year. They can tank this season and likely get a top 5 pick next year.

      Lakers get the prolific outside shooter that LBJ needs in Beal.

  4. knickscavsfan

    Likely, the Rockets are looking for a deal where they aren’t taking back significant salary. I’m sure they want to cut salary to pursue a free agent.

    I think signing DeMarcus Cousins would be a great fit for this team. He likely won’t sign a big contract this year but might consider something like a $1/$15 mil or 2/$30 offer

  5. LordBanana

    There isn’t a trade involving these guys that will upgrade the team

  6. formerlyz

    I thought they should have let him walk last year, so not surprising, but for those same reasons, I’m not sure what they can necessarily get for him in this market

  7. x%sure

    Why would the Pels do that.
    Houston needs to fill out the roster. They don’t have the means to get another in-demand player.

  8. victorg

    Rox went all in on a chip … they traded for Paul knowing they would have to pay him 2 years more then they wanted to in the hopes of getting a chip but now they are stuck with CP3 chins.

  9. Jason Lancaster

    Nuggets need to jump at the chance to trade for Capela, assuming they can flip Barton + one of their youngsters for him + a first. He’s exactly what they need – a defensive player that can cut for dunks. He’d fix almost all of Denver’s defensive problems…

    • victorg

      I don’t think capela and the joker would mix well. and the rox should not trade capela unless they are moving harden .

      • knickscavsfan

        What’s the point of moving Harden and Capela and keeping Paul? That’s a full blown rebuild and would set the franchise back.

        I think the Rockets MUST go down with Harden as their main guy. Unless you’re getting a top 5 player in return, it makes no sense. He’s the face of the franchise, despite his post-season frustrations. I would rather they move D’Antoni than Harden.

    • x%sure

      Nuggets already have Jokic & Plumlee. Plumee & Capela both block 2.2 per 100!

      Denver’s D will improve when they want it to. -IMO- They developed their players offensively first by plan, so… next year they will tighten up their D.

      Rockets have few options

      • Jason Lancaster

        I feel like there’s a huge difference between Denver’s Plumlee and Capela. Only I don’t watch Capela enough, so maybe the delta isn’t huge.

        To my eye, Capela is *much* more athletic. His ability to cut hard is next level, as is his perimeter d (for a big). Denver needs a big that can protect the rim.

  10. Reflect

    I wonder if a team would just take both Capela and Paul for free. I would think they more or less cancel out to neutral value. It would not be ideal for Houston to trade picks away when it still needs to actually improve its team.

  11. Brad

    I remember when I got bashed for saying the Rockets need to make moves now while they have any value before it’s too late. It just makes sense. GS will not be the same team in a year or too. They can’t keep everyone. Now is the time to start getting prepared for that. Soon enough more teams will start moving up in the west and the rockets will start moving back if they don’t make some changes. Just facts. Collect enough top three prospects you do eventually get better.

      • Brad

        As many as they can for the most value they can get. CP3 is either going to be a salary dump attached to something of value or leftovers they can’t get rid of. Capela can go to Boston when they miss out on AD and can give them something good back in return. And if they are really putting every player on the block, then why not harden to New York or Boston or LA? Probably prefer to send him to the East so how bad of a return would you actually get for Harden?

  12. bowserhound

    CP3 and Capela didn’t live up to their contracts last year, not sure who would want them honestly. Capela is more valuable than CP3 nowadays.

  13. JonnyLucas

    I wouldn’t touch cp3 with a ten foot pole. The injuries and the decline……… his contract is an anchor around their neck.

  14. nentwigs

    Keep a dedicated phone line open to the Timberpuppies where everyone who doesn’t have “KAT” for initials is available and is a team trying to morph into the Timberockets.

  15. x%sure

    Woj: “…perhaps even Chris Paul – could be moved in right deal.”

    I’ll say it, CP3 has negative trade value. Like Wiggins or Wall, anyone who wants him can have him. That’s the right deal.

    Capela is not far behind, being only useful in one offense.

  16. we_got_game

    Its all about scheme fit. Chris Paul would elevate a team like Utah for instance he plays better D than Rubio and could be a positive presence for a guy like Mitchell . Capella is less needed in today’s game but a team like the magic if they loose out on vucivic could be a fit. And don’t count the spurs or mavs out to upgrade at center.. My guess is that cp3 will end up in LA either team weather it’s back with Clippers to end career and retire his jersey or to LA after they miss out on there big free agents.

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