Rockets Rumors: Clint Capela Offered $85M, HOU 'Optimistic' Contract Gets Done

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2018

Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) is fouled by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) as he tries to score in the first half during Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Houston Rockets reportedly offered restricted free agent Clint Capela a five-year, $85 million contract on July 1 and remain "optimistic" they will reach an agreement.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported the news Tuesday, noting the deal could have been worth as much as $90 million with incentives. When asked whether the Rockets were still optimistic about reaching a deal, a source told Feigen, "absolutely."

Earlier Tuesday, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reported Houston's initial offer was approximately $60 million over four years, but Capela was looking for a contract in the four-year, $100 million range.

While Feigen reported the Rockets offered more than what MacMahon reported, it's easy to draw your own conclusions from Capela's tweet on the first day of free agency:

Clint Capela @CapelaClint


Owner Tilman Fertitta stressed the luxury tax isn't influencing Houston's decision-making process during the offseason, according to MacMahon, even though Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute left to sign one-year deals with the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively.

"Re-signing point guard Chris Paul to a four-year, $160 million maximum contract virtually guaranteed that the Rockets would pay luxury tax this season," MacMahon wrote.

Keeping Capela around will give the Rockets their best chance at toppling the Golden State Warriors, as the big man experienced a breakout season in 2017-18.

He averaged 13.9 points on a league-best 65.2 percent shooting, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game last season, helping to fuel the Rockets to a franchise-high 65 wins. He consistently took advantage of openings thatย James Harden and Paul created when they drove the lane, and he was a favorite target for lobs and dump passes in front of the rim.

Capela also anchored the interior defense, as opponents shot 5.1 percentage points worse than their normal averages inside six feet when he was guarding them in 2017-18, per NBA.com.

The Rockets are out for revenge after they pushed the Warriors to seven games in last season's Western Conference Finals, and they apparently remain optimistic about their chances of re-signing Capela to a new long-term deal.