NBA Free Agency: Latest Rumors, Predictions for Clint Capela, Yogi Ferrell, More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 16, 2018

FILE - In this May 4, 2018, file photo, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) defends against Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series in Salt Lake City. The league is taking notice that Capela is one of the pivotal pieces to Houston’s success as the team prepares for its showdown with Golden State in the Western Conference finals starting Monday. “What he does is as good or better than anybody in the league without a doubt,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The market for restricted free agents was expected to be brutal due to the lack of cap space around the NBA, and it's proving to be especially tough for some of the big names out on the market. 

Clint Capela remains the top player available entering the third week of NBA free agency, and with offers failing to come in from elsewhere, he's stuck negotiating with the Houston Rockets. 

A few other restricted free agents were given more freedom over the last few days, as they became unrestricted free agents after their respective teams rescinded qualifying offers. 

However, with few teams possessing precious cap space, it's hard for maximum deals to get done, which allows the teams who rescinded offers a chance to remain in the hunt for those players. 

Below is a look at the latest buzz surrounding Capela and the other free agents waiting patiently to be signed. 


Capela Expected To Re-Sign With Houston 

Despite waiting longer than expected to sign a deal, Capela appears to be headed back to the Rockets, who can't afford to lose his services in the paint. 

Although he turned down a five-year, $85 million deal, people around the NBA still expect the 24-year-old to stay with the Rockets, per Yahoo's Jordan Schultz: 

Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report

Multiple league sources still expect the #Rockets to resign Clint Capela, despite him previously turning down Houston’s 5-year, $85M offer.

Despite failing to come to terms with Capela on their first offer, the Rockets are staying optimistic when it comes to signing the big man, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: 

Jonathan Feigen @Jonathan_Feigen

Rockets offer to Clint Capela on July 1 was five years, $85 million, two individuals with knowledge of the offer said. With incentives, the deal could be worth $90 million. Rockets remain optimistic sides a deal will be reached. "Absolutely," one of the individuals said.

Without Capela. the Rockets could lose their status as main challenger to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. 

Losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute were blows to the team's depth, and it tried to recoup its losses a bit by bringing in James Ennis. 

Capela is the defensive enforcer the Rockets are going to need in the postseason against the Warriors, especially now with DeMarcus Cousins in the Golden State lineup.

Even if the Carmelo Anthony situation doesn't play out in the Rockets' favor, they'll be able to breathe easy once their top frontcourt player returns to join James Harden and Chris Paul.

Prediction: Capela, Rockets find a way to get deal done. 


Mavericks Intend to Re-Sign Ferrell 

Fourth-year guard Yogi Ferrell should return to the Dallas Mavericks despite the recent actions taken by the franchise. 

According to Yahoo's Shams Charania, the Mavericks rescinded the qualifying offer on the 25-year-old, which made him an unrestricted free agent. 

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Sources: The Dallas Mavericks have rescinded the qualifying offer on guard Yogi Ferrell, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Although the Mavericks rescinded the qualifying offer, they're still working to get a deal done for the Indiana product, per ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon: 

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

Source: Mavs and guard Yogi Ferrell "are on the 1-yard line" of getting a deal done to keep him in Dallas. His $2.9 million qualifying offer was rescinded, making Ferrell a free agent, but Mavs intend to re-sign him.

Bringing Ferrell back would help the depth of the Mavericks at guard behind projected starters Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic. 

Along with Wesley Matthews and J.J. Barea, Ferrell will be a reliable option off the bench for head coach Rick Carlisle to call on when the starters need a break. 

Unless another team comes in with a strong offer, which is unlikely given the status of the market, Ferrell should be back in Dallas. 

Prediction: Ferrell, Dallas come to an agreement. 


Nwaba Gaining Interest Across League

David Nwaba's qualifying offer was rescinded by the Chicago Bulls in part so the team could make room for Jabari Parker. 

Now that the 25-year-old is an unrestricted free agent, he's receiving interest from a few teams across the NBA, including the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers, per TNT's David Aldridge: 

David Aldridge @daldridgetnt

No surprise: several teams have reached out to @dnwaba0, whose qualifying offer was rescinded by Chicago Thursday, making him an unrestricted free agent. Spurs, Lakers among many, per source, with no frontrunner. Bulls still could re-sign him as well.

The shooting guard could be a nice asset for teams to bring in as they look to round out their respective benches.

Chicago has $641,058 left in cap space, per Spotrac, but it still has the potential to use its $4.5 million mid-level exception, as ESPN's Bobby Marks noted

If the Bulls are interested in bringing back Nwaba, the mid-level exception will be the salary mechanism they use to get the deal done. 

With little cap space open around the NBA, it wouldn't be a bad idea for Nwaba to come back to Chicago given the improvements the team's made to its roster, led by the addition of Parker and selection of Wendell Carter Jr. in the 2018 NBA draft.

Prediction: Nwaba lands back with Chicago. 


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