Although the Dallas Mavericks addressed the center position with a huge upgrade in the form of DeAndre Jordan, I wish the Mavs would have traveled down I-45 to try and pry away another big man from a division foe.
Clint Capela is a 6’10” center for the Houston Rockets and is the NBA’s new age center: tall, slender, and athletic. A late first round pick in 2014, the Swedish born Cappella has started to emerge in the past two seasons as one of the leagues more promising big men.
Capela spent his first two seasons between the D-League and the Rockets before becoming Dwight Howard’s backup. After Howard left to play in Atlanta, Capela was inserted into the starting lineup where he flourished playing alongside James Harden.
He was even better with the arrival of Chris Paul last summer. With CP3 running the show, Cappella went on to average 13.9 a game last season, shooting a league leading .659% from the field.
On the defensive side of things, Capela has improved every year he has been in the league. Last season, he finished eighth in the NBA in rebounding with 10.8 per game. He also was a great shot blocker turning in 2.12 a night, finishing only behind John Henson, Anthony Davis, and Rudy Gobert.
Another reason i’d like to have seen the Mavs take a run at Capela was for srategic purposes. Being a restricted free agent, the Rockets have the opportunity to match any offer sheet given to Capela. So if the Mavericks were to offer a contract for 4 years and $100 million, the Rockets could go ahead and give Capela that contract. While the Mavs would hurt for a bit, it does tie up a Houston team that is already teetering with salary cap issues and would effect them chasing future free agents.
The Mavericks have chased RFA’s in the past with mixed results. In 2009, they signed Marcin Gortat to an offer sheet, only to have the Orlando Magic match it. And who could forget the Chandler Parsons deal, when the Mavs signed him and the Rockets decided not to match? Parsons spent two lackluster years in Dallas before heading off to Memphis to be their albatross.
As much as I love the Jordan signing, it would have been nice to reach out to Capela and see if he would liked to have run with Dirk, DSJ, Luka, and company.
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