The five Houston Rockets included on SI’s top 100 players of 2019-20

By Lachard Binkley
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets
Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

No. 56: Clint Capela (35 last year)

The biggest dropoff for any Houston Rocket on this year’s top 100 list was Clint Capela, who dropped from 35 to 56. Going into last year, Capela was looking to take another step forward to becoming a possible NBA All-Star.

After signing a five year, $90 million dollar contract, Capela was poised for a breakout year. Unfortunately, a slow start paired with an injury caused an uneven season for the center for most of the year.

The trend continued into the postseason, where he had an up-and-down series vs. the Utah Jazz. When it came to the following round versus the Golden State Warriors, the wheels seemed to completely come off for the big man, rendering him virtually unplayable at times.

Related Story. Why Clint Capela is poised to have a breakout season

Coming off his strong play in the FIBA tournament, the hope is that Capela comes back stronger and improves his overall game to take that next step for the Rockets. With Westbrook now in the fold, this may help Capela get easier baskets in transition in addition to the usual alley-oops he’s used to getting from the penetration of James Harden.

The Rockets were surprisingly one of the slower-paced teams in the league last year and now are looking to push the pace more and get out in transition, especially with the addition of dynamic superstar Russell Westbrook. If Capela can improve his touch around the basket and get back to his 2017-18 form, he could rise back up to where he should be in next year’s top 100 list. Considering the season Clint had, number 56 is about right.

Next: Russell Westbrook