Reports: Rockets expect Clint Capela to be back in action on Thursday

According to multiple reports, the Houston Rockets fully expect big-man Clint Capela to be ready to play on Thursday.

Capela missed 15 games this season after suffering ligament damage in his right thumb that required surgery. With Capela returning to the active line-up, Kenneth Faried, who has seemingly rejuvenated his career since signing with the Rockets earlier in the season, will likely be moved into a more reserve type of role with the team. This move will also affect veteran big-man Nene as he will likely be pushed out of the line-up.

Before suffering his injury, Capela was averaging 17.6 points per game, 12.6 total rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.8 blocks. Reports have also surfaced saying Capela practiced with the team at USC in preparation for their upcoming match against the Los Angeles Lakers. Capela’s minutes will be decided Thursday night based upon how he did during the live action practice.

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Rockets feel “optimistic” about retaining Capela despite disturbing reports

The Houston Rockets and star big-man Clint Capela are reportedly “far from” agreeing on a long-term contract, despite sources saying Houston feels “optimistic” about their chances of extending him this offseason.

Capela played a huge role in the Rockets’ Western Conference dominance that ultimately ended in the WCF, after losing in game seven to the Golden State Warriors. The 24-year-old became an elite player for the Rockets during the course of the 2017-2018 campaign averaging 13.9 points per game, 1.9 blocks and 7.6 defensive rebounding while shooting 65% from the field. He created space for James Harden and Chris Paul to work in the open floor while always being open for the lob, which kept the squad on defensive in a vulnerable position.

 

To get a better look at the shooting that Capela did for the Rockets last season, here’s a heat map from Nbasavant.com:

Clint Capela

The first report published by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronical states that on July 1st, the Rockets offered Capela $85 million in exchange for five more seasons with the team. The deal has also been reported to have incentives that could push the overall payout to around $90 million dollars. In recent hours though, a report has surfaced saying that the Rockets initially offered $60 million in exchange for four years of the big-man’s services. If the latter is true, then Capela will be hesitant to sign the deal as he has been on the record saying he thinks that he is worth somewhere near $100 million.

Considering the incredible season Capela had with the Rockets, the restricted free agency market will be a buzz with offers for him, even though many teams don’t have the cap space to give Capela the money. Of course, since Capela is a restricted free agent, this means that the Rockets have a chance to match the offer if Capela receives one from another team.

 

Capela has emerged as one of the best centers in the league and fully expects to get paid like an elite player. Houston will likely keep pushing to get him to agree as they have made extending him a top priority in this year’s troubling free agency.

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