According to a report, the Rockets offered Clint Capela a five-year, $85 million deal. But the center is looking for an even bigger contract this offseason.
Re-signing Chris Paul and Clint Capela were the biggest priorities for the Houston Rockets this summer. Houston inked Paul to a massive four-year, $160 million deal at the start of free agency. But the Rockets and Capela haven’t been able to come to an agreement yet.
Houston has already made a $4.7 million qualifying offer to Capela. Many people assumed that Houston wouldn’t immediately offer Capela a big contract since he’s a restricted free agent. The thought process was that the Rockets would sit back and let he market set the price for Capela and then Houston would match whatever offer sheet he received. That way, the team wouldn’t negotiate against itself, but this isn’t the case.
According to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen, the Rockets offered Capela a five-year, $85 million deal on July 1. After incentives, the final value of the deal could reach as high as $90 million.
Capela and his team are seeking a deal similar to what Rudy Gobert (four-years, $102 million) and Steven Adams (four years, $100 million) received. Capela showed throughout the season and in the playoffs that he is on the same level as those centers, but he might not command the same money.
Adams and Gobert signed their contracts in 2016, when seemingly every team had unlimited cap space and everyone was getting paid. In the summer of 2016, the Lakers signed Luol Deng to a four-year, $72 million deal. They even gave Timofey Mosgov a contract worth $64 million over four years. Houston and Ryan Anderson also agreed to a four-year, $80 million deal in 2016.
With the salary cap expected to rise sharply, teams in 2016 were writing big checks to any player with a pulse. Now, those same teams have mediocre players with star contracts, which makes them nearly impossible to trade (e.g. Ryan Anderson and Luol Deng).
Of course, Clint Capela will be a great player for years to come, assuming he stays healthy. But the free agent market has been pretty dry for non-superstar players this summer. If Capela wants to get a really big deal, he should probably sign the $4.7 million qualifying offer with Houston. Then he can become an unrestricted free agent next season when teams will have more available cap space.
Either way, the Rockets need Capela in order to compete for a championship next season. Contract negotiations between Capela and the Rockets might drag on for a few more weeks, but he’ll probably return to Houston one way or another.