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
When the Houston Rockets drafted Clint Capela, TNT analysts said he was “two years away from being two years away.” Despite these prospects, Capela’s representation prior to his signing with Houston was that he should be inserted into the starting lineup from Day 1. Capela was told by coach Kevin McHale that he would spend much of the season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Capela will potentially spend much of that time alongside second-round pick Nick Johnson from Arizona. Johnson looked great during summer league but the Rockets have a major logjam in the backcourt, barring multiple injuries.
The Rockets have “farmed” some great talent from the D-League, developing Troy Daniels, Isaiah Canaan and Donatas Motiejunas in the Developmental League.
Kevin McHale told the Houston Chronicle, “The Vipers have been great for us…this year will be a huge improvement for Clint Capela down here. That will be fantastic. Nick Johnson will be able to use this to improve…”
Oct 13, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Nick Johnson (3) attempts to save a ball from going out of bounds during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
There’s no need for young players to hang their respective heads when entering the D-League, as premier and stars have now come through the NBDL, most notoriously Gerald Green who spent a handful of seasons honing his game to match his athleticism and now is heavily featured in the Phoenix Suns’ rotation.