The Boston Celtics should upgrade their depth at center before Thursday's NBA trade deadline, and one player who could address that need is Houston Rockets star Clint Capela.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday the Celtics and Rockets have held trade talks involving Capela. He added that the Rockets are looking for first-round draft picks that they would use to make a separate trade for a wing player.
Sources: The Atlanta Hawks remain a possible landing spot for Capela too. Rockets are pursuing first-round picks to flip into a deal for a wing player and another center. Robert Covington and Andre Iguodala are among several Houston targets. https://t.co/uWXqPqEx6T— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2020
ESPN's Bobby Marks noted the Celtics only would have to send back $10 million in salary as part of a Capela trade. They also could have as many as three first-round picks in the 2020 NBA Draft to dangle in trade talks.
What would the Celtics need to give up to acquire Capela? Here's what ESPN's Brian Windhorst said regarding Capela and the C's on a recent episide of "The Lowe Post" podcast.
Windhorst discussed Capela to Boston on the Lowe Post:
"You'd be talking about Daniel Theis being in the deal, probably. Poirier being in the deal, Romeo Langford maybe being in the deal and one of their first round picks."— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) February 3, 2020
Capela is averaging 13.9 points and 13.8 rebounds per game for the Rockets this season. Only three players in the league average more rebounds per game. Capela also fits the Celtics' competitive timeline because he's only 25 years old. He would upgrade the Celtics' rebounding, frontcourt depth, low-post scoring and pick-and-roll offense. He's also a quality interior defender and would give Boston another player to defend the likes of Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and other star big men in potential playoff matchups.
Another benefit to acquiring Capela is he's signed through the 2022-23 season with an average salary cap hit of about $17 million. It's a team-friendly contract for a player in his prime.