Houston Rockets: 30 Greatest players in franchise history

By Ben Beecken
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry, Vernon Maxwell, Otis Thorpe (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry, Vernon Maxwell, Otis Thorpe (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets Clint Capela (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Clint Capela (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

. . Center. Clint Capela. 26. 169


  • Five seasons with the Rockets (2014-present)

  • Averaging 11.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game

Clint Capela is a current member of the Rockets and is enjoying a breakout season that would have had a chance at culminating in an All-Star appearance if not for a mid-season injury.

Capela was the No. 25 pick of the 2014 pick by the Rockets and hardly saw the floor as a rookie, only appearing in 12 games. In his second season, he was the regular backup center behind Dwight Howard at just 20 years of age. Capela averaged 7.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 19.1 minutes per contest and started 35 games when Howard was out due to injury.

Then in 2016-17, Capela became the regular starter, appearing in the starting lineup in 59 of the 65 games in which he played. His per-game numbers were just 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds, but it was clear that he was a perfect fit for the modern NBA on both ends of the floor.

By 2017-18, Capela was up to 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He played in 74 games, starting them all. The Rockets won 65 games, managed to land the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and would have had a chance at toppling the mighty Golden State Warriors if it wasn’t for an injury to Chris Paul in the Western Conference Finals.

Capela started the 2018-19 campaign hot, averaging 17.6 points and 12.6 rebounds per game through the first 42 contests before suffering a thumb injury that cost him a few weeks of playing time just prior to the All-Star break.

The Rockets as a whole haven’t had as strong of a season, either, although the return of Capela will no doubt catapult them back into the conversation for a top-three seed in the Western Conference.

Capela will no doubt rise up this list as his career wears on, with the potential to land in the top-10 or so names on this list, if not even higher.

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