Well, now that the NBA Finals are over, we’re heading full steam into the offseason, which means get ready for lots of rumors, especially with the Houston Rockets reportedly putting their entire team outside of James Harden on the trading block and the fact that the team has no draft picks this season and would like to get a pick back at some point.
Boston’s top priority is making a move for Anthony Davis. However, with most of the current scuttlebutt linking Davis to either the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, or Brooklyn Nets, the Celtics are putting a contingency plan in place, and that AD consolation apparently is centered around Capela, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:
The Houston Rockets have been looking for ways to shake up their roster, and sources have said the Celtics have expressed considerable interest in big man Clint Capela, likely as a fall back if they do not land or aggressively pursue Davis.
The most likely scenario is going to involve one of Boston’s three first-round draft picks. They currently hold the 14th, 20th and 22nd pick in the draft and are reportedly very interested in moving at least one of them.
Woj on the Celtics trading late first-round picks, driving an ice pick into my heart: "They don’t want to have three rookies on this team next season."— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) June 12, 2019
The Rockets have been rumored all offseason to be targeting some youth and a possible move back into the first round, and according to Kyler, they’ve even been trying to lure draft prospects into the building under the premise that the team is looking to trade into the top 20.
The Rockets have been trying to get first-round level prospects in for workouts, baiting agents with the idea that can and likely will trade for a pick in the top 20.
So that puts Boston’s 14th and 20th pick in the draft in play for Capela. Obviously, pick 14 is preferable, but should the Celtics also include a player, I can see the Rockets taking the 20th or even the 22nd pick.
I mentioned this in the last Capela-Boston piece I wrote, but I really think Jaylen Brown would be a perfect fit in H-town. The 6’7” swingman has the height, length, athleticism, and defensive acumen the Rockets are searching for on the wing, along with a serviceable three-point shot (36.5 percent over three seasons), and he’ll be just 23 for this upcoming campaign.
It’s also important to note that with Kyrie Irving likely on his way out, the Celtics are also reportedly interested in trading for Mike Conley, which would also cost Boston a first-rounder. It remains to be seen whether a Conley trade would preclude the Celtics from going after Capela, though an offseason of Conley and Capela while still holding on to a draft pick would be quite the haul for the Celtics.
Either way, it’s a situation that deserves watching as the Anthony Davis drama plays itself out.