Celtics

NBA Rumors: Could Clint Capela be a Celtics target at trade deadline?

Celtics

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For all of the positive vibes surrounding the 2019-20 Boston Celtics, there's one obvious area for improvement ... and it's under the basket.

The Celtics entered the season pretty thin at center, and early injuries to Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis left only second-year big man Robert Williams, recent pickup Vincent Poirier and 7-foot-6 rookie Tacko Fall to play the position.

Depending on what happens between now and February's NBA trade deadline, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge could decide he needs an upgrade at center to compete in the Eastern Conference.

Could that upgrade be Houston Rockets center Clint Capela?

In a column Wednesday for ESPN, Brian Windhorst mentioned Capela as a player "executives are watching," noting that Houston considered trading Capela last summer before landing Russell Westbrook.

 

"If the Rockets need midseason changes, and they almost always itch for them, Capela could be available again," Windhorst wrote.

The 25-year-old has averaged a double-double in each of the last two seasons (16.6 points and 12.7 rebounds per game last season) and is an excellent rim protector, with eight blocks in just three games for Houston this season.

Windhorst also noted veteran big man Steven Adams could be a Celtics target if the Oklahoma City Thunder make him available. But during a recent appearance on "The Bill Simmons Podcast," NBC Sports Boston contributor Chris Mannix suggested Capela is the apple of Boston's eye.

"I think the guy they're sitting on, really, is Clint Capela," Mannix said. "I think they'd love to take a Daniel Theis contract and maybe a couple other small things and a draft pick and go get a guy like that."

Expectations are high in Houston with Westbrook joining James Harden, and if they meet those expectations, it seems unlikely they'd deal an important player like Capela while competing for a top Western Conference playoff spot.

But if the Westbrook-Harden experiment goes south, perhaps Ainge will place a call to Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.

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