By Austin Payne
It has been reported for several days now that the Atlanta Hawks may potentially be pursuing Clint Capela of the Rockets as Houston attempts to offload some of its cap allocations and avoid paying any luxury tax for the sake of their newly frugal ownership.
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Atlanta is not the only team who has been linked to the Rockets big man, with their primary competition coming from Boston who has their own assets to bargain with if they truly desire to secure a legit center down low.
If the Hawks were to go after Capela, it would require them to dump a hefty amount of salary to make it match on the balance sheet. The most logical conclusion would be to ship Evan Turner, who they took off the Blazers hands just to get rid of Kent Bazemore, and is eating up $18.6 million in cap space, to the Rockets.
Although we all know that Houston isn’t exactly knocking down the Hawks door to obtain an aging guard who can’t shoot on an expiring deal, so that would never be enough. They’ll likely have to include the first round pick they obtained from Brooklyn in the Taurean Prince trade, and possibly Alex Len or Jabari Parker.
Houston will have a huge void in the middle of their defense, not to mention the floor in general if they give up their only true center who can give them real minutes on a per game basis, with their other options being the nearly retired Tyson Chandler and the young Isaiah Hartenstein.
Houston has shown no fear whatsoever of going small, electing to start 6’6 P.J. Tucker, who’s already an undersized 4, at center in Capela’s recent injury absence. Regardless of their desire to play 5 guards at once, the NBA just isn’t there yet Mike, chill out.
The Rockets will need at least some form of big man in return for a move they make if Clint is gone, whether it’s with the Hawks trade or not. They also would reportedly fancy to bring in yet another wing defender on top of the options they already have in the way of Tucker, House, McLemore, and Sefelosha. They’d like to upgrade we assume, without having to give up Danuel House.
Top prospects to fill this gap are apparently the controversial Andre Iguodala and the Timberwolves Robert Covington, with Covington being the clear preferred target.
Houston may make any number of trades to achieve their mid-season alterations, and could be trading with upwards of 3-5 different teams to do so.