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Clint Capela, Rockets Agree to Reported 5-Year, $90M Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 28:  Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets reacts against the Golden State Warriors in Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bill Baptist/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets announced they have finally come to terms on a new deal with center Clint Capela

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Capela's contract is worth $90 million over five years. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported the contract is $80 million guaranteed with $10 million in incentives.

Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post provided detail on those incentives:

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps

The incentives on Clint Capela's contract, per a league source: $1 million for reaching the Western Conference finals, $500,000 for finishing with a 30% defensive rebounding rate, and $500,000 for shooting at least 65% from the free throw line. Those are for each of the 5 seasons

This deal is a win for the Rockets, who lost key players Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency. Capela was a restricted free agent, giving Houston the right to match any potential offer he received.

ESPN's Tim MacMahon noted Capela was seeking a deal in the range of $100 million over four years.

Capela, 24, averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in 2017-18. His development into one of the NBA's best defensive centers was instrumental in the Rockets' ascent to the top of the Western Conference.

Their decision to allow Dwight Howard to walk in free agency two years ago helped them add pieces that would eventually help set up the Chris Paul trade, and having Capela's cheap contract on the books made things easier.

The $90 million deal for Capela represents a culmination of his hard work. Drafted with the No. 25 overall pick in 2014, he had only played basketball for six years at the time. He didn't pick up the sport until he was 13, when his height made his soccer dreams somewhat impossible.

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"Just because I know where I came from, I know how much work and focus that I've put into this," Capela told reporters in May. "I've wanted to make myself important to the team. I'm just glad that now everybody sees it. It just gives me more motivation and confidence to continue what I'm doing."

Capela has shown growth in each of his four NBA seasons. He's been an ideal fit under Mike D'Antoni, running hard on rim runs to catch lobs and crashing the boards for putbacks. Taking the next step as a player will involve expanding his range outside the paint—something he almost never does now—but he's already well worth his deal as is.

The Rockets will hope his development continues and he becomes another All-NBA piece next to James Harden and Paul.

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