Sometimes plans change; and in the case of Clint Capela, Houston’s misfortune in the free agency market opened up a door for the Swiss center to sign.
When first round draft choice Clint Capela was selected, it was thought that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey was drafting Capela to stash and eventually bring to the NBA a few seasons from now. ESPN billed Capela as a guy who was “two years away from being two years away.”
It fit perfectly with a plan to keep the payroll as low as possible to allow for the pursuit of top tier free agents. Every dollar was precious. Then, the Rockets struck out on Chris Bosh and others, and were left with what remained.
Capela’s representatives told the Rockets he wanted to come over this season, and with the money no longer potentially committed to another player, he ended up signing after all.
The Rockets will likely send Capela to the D-League for a lot of seasoning. He’s rail thin and needs to fill out before he can play big minutes in the post in the NBA. He is just 222 pounds at this point. Still, even with a raw skill set, his physical tools are there.
It’s difficult to figure exactly how the Swiss big man will translate into the NBA, given the number of 7-footers (6’11” to be exact) who end up being total busts, drafted in positions far higher than the late first round.
Even if Capela ends up being close to Mission: Impossible, it’s tough to imagine that he could be given any better chance than learning under NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon. That seems to be the cure all for every player on the Rockets roster, but maybe it will eventually pay off big.
If Capela applies himself and has a good learning curve, the chances is there that Morey receives a big payout on a bargain basement contract once again.
Capela will have time to work on his footwork, finishing ability, and defensive skills, while going against arguably the best 5-man in the game in Howard. It’s a low risk move to sign Capela; it just wasn’t expected he would arrive so soon. His representatives pushed for otherwise and insisted Capela arrive this season, however—and ultimately it worked out for Capela and his camp.
The club France Chalon will receive the maximum buyout of $500,000. He averaged 9.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season at just 20 years of age.
Capela’s contract is for two seasons at roughly $1 million per, with options for two more seasons beyond that via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.