Clint Capela

NBA free agency rumors: Rockets' Clint Capela still an option for Kings

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USATSI

NBA free agency rumors: Rockets' Clint Capela still an option for Kings

SACRAMENTO -- The NBA free agency news is coming fast and furious.

As expected, the Kings are primed to make a play for Al Horford. They're also in heavily on Dewayne Dedmon. And now a third name comes back into the picture.

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported Sunday that the Kings are one of the teams the Houston Rockets have engaged in a potential deal for 6-foot-10 center Clint Capela.

This is a messy situation that might take time to work out. If the Rockets can land Jimmy Butler from the 76ers in a sign-and-trade, they’ll need someone to take on the contracts of Capela, PJ Tucker and Eric Gordon. Philadelphia will want assets in exchange for Butler, but what teams are willing to offer is in question.

As of earlier this week, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports California that the Kings were not willing to deal a first-round draft pick in exchange for Capela. That might be a major sticking point.

The Kings have the salary-cap space to absorb the big man outright, and they have seven second-round picks in the next two NBA drafts. However, they just went through the 2019 draft without a first-round pick, and they aren’t looking to repeat that scenario next year.

Capela is an interesting player. At 25 years old, he fits Sacramento's player arc, and he put up big numbers last season for Houston. He’s also locked up for the next four seasons for roughly $72 million.

He averaged 16.6 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 33.6 minutes per game last season, and while he presents a huge improvement as both a rebounder and shot-blocker, he has limited range as a shooter.

There might be concerns about Capela's fit next to Marvin Bagley, although there is hope that the Kings’ second-year big eventually will develop into a strong perimeter shooter.

[RELATED: Source: Kings all in on Horford, could make major offer]

The Kings will swing for the fences with Horford. They’ll also chase Dedmon. If the Rockets come to them with a reasonable deal for Capela, it might be too good to pass up.

Why Kings should call Rockets if Clint Capela is available via trade

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USATSI

Why Kings should call Rockets if Clint Capela is available via trade

Having more than $60 million in available salary-cap space is both a blessing and a curse for the Sacramento Kings.

On the one hand, they need to spend at least $50 million to get to the NBA’s salary floor. On the other hand, they don’t want to spend, just to spend.

While the team hopes to be a player in free agency, there is a full menu of ways to improve the team. One of those options is to package a future asset and some of their coveted cap space, and trade for an established NBA player on a long-term deal.

Steven Adams was the first major center to potentially come available, but it looks like he won’t be the last. The Rockets reportedly are trying to make a play for Jimmy Butler, and they're willing to deal away a couple of their key players. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that one of those players is center Clint Capela.

Capela checks all of the boxes for the Kings. At 25 years old, he fits the team’s player arc, and he is the rim-running, shot-blocking rebounder they desperately need.

He’s also locked up on a four-year, $72 million contract that is completely affordable for a player who averaged 16.6 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last season in Houston.

It likely would cost the Kings a top-10-protected first-round draft pick, but the team is young enough to withstand another year without a selection. Sacramento also has seven second-round selections over the next two years to sweeten a deal.

If the Kings were feeling generous, they could make a mega-deal out of the situation. They have the available cap space to absorb Capela ($16.4 million), Eric Gordon ($14 million) and P.J. Tucker ($8.3 million), freeing up just under $40 million for the Rockets.

In a scenario like this, the Kings still would have more than $20 million per year to pay Harrison Barnes. They also could clear $22 million off the books next season when Gordon and Tucker expire and Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic come up for extensions.

Whether or not the Kings have held discussions with the Rockets is unknown at this time, but Sacramento needs to be aggressive in all facets of the summer schedule. The team knows Willie Cauley-Stein wants out, and there are options to replace him on the market.

But very few offer the contract, numbers and age fit that Capela does.

[RELATED: Kings' 10 options to fill small forward opening in free agency]

Kings general manager Vlade Divac selected three players in the second round, but the likelihood of any of them making an impact this season is minimal. If the Kings are going to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, they have to take risks in free agency and on the trade front.

A deal for Capela would add another impact player to the foundation of the team. It would come with future costs, but it’s hard to imagine finding a better fit than the 6-foot-10 center.

Steph Curry injury: Warriors star dislocates finger in Game 2 vs. Rockets

Steph Curry injury: Warriors star dislocates finger in Game 2 vs. Rockets

Steph Curry left Game 2 of the NBA playoff second-round series between the Warriors and Rockets in the first quarter with an apparent left hand injury.

He appeared to suffer the injury while trying to swipe the ball away from Rockets center Clint Capela with 8:32 remaining in the opening quarter. He was seen yelling in pain before heading to Golden State's locker room.

[RELATED: Dell on chat with Steph regarding fouling]

The Warriors confirmed Curry suffered a dislocated middle finger on his left hand. The Warriors' trainers popped it back in before he re-entered the game with 5:12 remaining in the first frame with his left middle and ring fingers taped together.