Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Clint Capela (Switzerland) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number twenty-five overall pick to the Houston Rockets in the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The majority of the focus of this offseason has been on the possible acquisitions of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. With the Houston Rockets expected to make a play at one or both of those headliners, the 25th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft took on a secondary importance. Rockets GM Daryl Morey decided not to add a player whose contract would be on the books next season, to preserve as much cap flexibility as possible.
This meant selecting Swiss big man Clint Capela.
Capela offers great length at 6’11” but sports a narrow 222 pound frame. He’s 20 years old, so there’s some time for him to thicken up, but without the benefit of an NBA training regiment, there’s really no telling how that project progresses.
Still, even if the Rockets have to wait three or four seasons for Capela to matriculate to the NBA, the payoff could eventually be a guy whose upside is similar to a prime Samuel Dalembert. NBADraft.net compares him to Ian Mahinmi or Amir Johnson. If Capela pans out to any of those three comparisons, the Rockets will have received good payback on the late first round selection.
Most importantly, he will not be on the books next season as he hones his game internationally. Morey was already successful in shedding Omer Asik’s salary, and the next issue of business will be finding a taker for Jeremy Lin.
Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Warriors will take on Lin’s contract if Chandler Parsons comes to the Bay Area with him. The Warriors have a $9.8 million trade exception, which would enable it to retain the services of Parsons.