Boston has long been considered a possible fit for Capela, since the team has relied for most of the season on low-cost big men like Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis. Acquiring an impact center like Capela, who’s capable of rim-running on offense and protecting the paint on defense, could make sense for a club that’s loaded with quality wings and has Kemba Walker running the show at the point.
Capela’s $14.9MM cap hit complicates matters to some extent, since the Celtics likely don’t want to move Marcus Smart and have no other expendable mid-level-type contracts for salary-matching purposes. Still, it’s not impossible for Boston to match Capela’s salary without using Smart — the team could package three less expensive players, including one or both of Kanter and Theis, to get to the necessary $9.9MM. Houston may not want to cut multiple players to accommodate those incoming pieces, but some could hypothetically be re-routed to teams with open roster spots.
The Celtics also have extra first-round picks available to include in a trade, if they so choose. In addition to their own 2020 first-round selection, the C’s hold the Grizzlies’ top-six protected first-rounder, and the Bucks’ first-rounder.
As Wojnarowski notes (via Twitter), the Rockets’ ultimate goal in dealing Capela would be to acquire a wing and another center. Securing a package that features one of Boston’s centers and a first-round pick which could be flipped for a wing would be one path to achieving that goal. Robert Covington and Andre Iguodala are among the players on Houston’s radar, Woj adds.
The Hawks have been cited most frequently as a potential landing spot for Capela, and the Kings are said to have expressed interest as well.