Clint Capela Trade Rumors: T-Wolves Discuss Hawks Star Amid Pursuit of Veteran Center

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 20, 2022

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 05: Clint Capela #15 of the Atlanta Hawks dunks on Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors during the first half of their NBA game at Scotiabank Arena on April 5, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Cole Burston/Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves are seeking frontcourt depth this offseason and have discussed a potential trade for Clint Capela, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Capela has spent the past two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and signed a two-year, $45.9 million extension last September that keeps him under contract through 2024-25. The 28-year-old took a step back after signing the deal, averaging 11.1 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in 2021-22.

In 2020-21, Capela averaged 15.2 points, 2.0 blocks and an NBA-best 14.3 rebounds per game.

His efficiency remains impressive on both ends of the court. He ranked 16th in the NBA last season with 8.3 win shares, per Basketball Reference. That was the fourth time in the last five years that he finished in the top 20.

Atlanta could still part with Capela for the right price as the team reshapes its frontcourt. Charania reported the front office also held conversations with the Sacramento Kings about trading power forward John Collins.

The Timberwolves have Karl-Anthony Towns at center, but the addition of Capela or another veteran could allow Towns to spend time at the 4.

Towns can stretch a defense with his shooting ability—he hit 41.0 percent of his three-point attempts last season—and he has the agility to handle the positional change after spending most of his time at the 5 during his career. Moving out of the post could also keep the three-time All-Star fresh as he enters his eighth year in the NBA.

Minnesota has lacked alternatives in the post in recent years with only Naz Reid to provide relief at center. Jarred Vanderbilt is coming off a strong season as the starting power forward, but a Towns-Capela tandem would represent a significant upgrade.

Considering the Timberwolves had the fastest pace in the NBA last season, a deeper rotation would also be extremely valuable.

After reaching the playoffs last season for only the second time since 2004, the Wolves will want to take the next step toward contention in the Western Conference.