Rumor: Celtics want to be third team in potential Rockets-Sixers trade

Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket past Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket past Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics are reportedly interested in being the third team involved in a Rockets-76ers trade involving star forward Jimmy Butler.

If you somehow haven’t heard, the Houston Rockets are expected to pursue a sign-and-trade deal with the 76ers for Jimmy Butler this summer. The Rockets would like to add a third star and shoot for a championship once again and they hope to persuade the Tomball, Texas native to join them on their quest.

In order to get the assets to pull off a deal with Philly, the Rockets have been reportedly shopping Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker, hoping that one of those players can be exchanged for a first-round pick. Houston has been contacting teams with cap space in hopes that another organization would be willing to take on additional salary.

Since Kyrie Irving and Al Horford are free agents, and both seem likely to leave for new teams this summer, the Celtics only have about $66 million committed to next season’s roster. According to Sacramento Kings reporter Matt George, the Celtics are interested in being the third team to help facilitate a deal between the Rockets and Sixers.

I've been told by a source in Houston that the Boston Celtics have significant interest in being the third team in a Rockets/76ers sign & trade.

Speculation: Boston, who has now emerged as the front runner to land Kemba Walker, will try and move in and acquire Clint Capela.

— Matt George (@MattGeorgeKHTK) June 27, 2019

George speculated that Boston would be interested in getting in on the deal to land Capela as a potential replacement for Horford if he leaves in free agency. This scenario would make the most sense, because Philadelphia doesn’t have much need for a well-paid center since they already have Joel Embiid.

The Celtics have emerged as front-runners to land free agent Kemba Walker, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. In order to keep enough cap flexibility to add Walker, who is now Boston’s No.1 target, the Celtics could send Marcus Smart to Philly as part of the three team trade. Again, this is all just speculation, but if the three teams did agree to a deal, we could see a similar trade.

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This isn’t the first time Boston has been linked to Capela. Just two weeks ago, Basketball Insider’s Steven Kyler reported that the Celtics were expected to test the waters with Houston on Capela. Back then, Boston’s biggest target was Anthony Davis, who was recently traded to the Lakers. After missing out on Davis and with the possibility of losing Horford, the Celtics could make a strong push for Capela.