The Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics are engaged in trade talks surrounding C Clint Capela, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday. Woj also reported that the Hawks remain in contention to land Capela, as previously reported.
ESPN Sources: Another team engaged with the Houston Rockets in trade talks for center Clint Capela: The Boston Celtics.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2020
Woj has a lot of details in this report. It’s notable that the Rockets are trying very hard to deal Capela before the deadline on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET. This from Ben Rohrbach notes that Houston wants to get deeper and the only way to do so appears to be trading away Capela for another center and a rotation guard. The Celtics have some pieces in Marcus Smart and Enes Kanter/Daniel Theis that can make this work, but does Boston want to part with Smart?
Have heard Houston desperately wants to deal Capela, which surprises me and makes you wonder about their motivation. Can’t imagine Boston wants to give up Smart, but maybe there’s a path to satisfy Houston’s need for depth (or assets to flip for depth) without including him.— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) February 3, 2020
If we go over to the trusty ESPN NBA Trade Machine we can get a few things done with the Rockets-Celtics. A deal straight up Capela for Smart works salary-wise. That obviously doesn’t help the Rockets’ need for depth and ultimately Capela is more valuable than Smart. So I think throwing in Kanter/Theis and a protected first-round pick can get things done.
The Hawks are also still involved, looking to add a big to help out Trae Young and John Collins. Capela would be a nice get, still with three years left on his team-friendly contract past this season. The Rockets could take back Damian Jones for center depth, plus add potential a young piece like Kevin Huerter, DeAndre Hunter or Bruno Fernando? Hunter would be the big get, though Atlanta could throw in a top 5 protected pick or future protected pick to sweeten the deal.