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Report: Celtics engage Rockets on Clint Capela trade

Clint Capela vs. Celtics

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 27: Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets goes up for a lay up defended by Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics in the second half at Toyota Center on December 27, 2018 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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The Rockets want a good forward like Robert Covington, Andre Iguodala or Marcus Morris. That’s why Clint Capela is on the trade block. Sending out his salary is the most logical way for Houston to add an expensive wing.

But the Rockets are already thin at center. If they deal Capela for just a wing, their center rotation will become untenable.

Enter the Celtics.

Boston could really use an upgrade at center. Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter are solid, but Capela would be better. And if the Celtics got Capela, they’d have far less need for both Theis and Kanter. So, one could go to Houston in a three-team trade that also netted Houston a big-time wing.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Daniel Theis, Vincent Poirier and Romeo Langford could work as a framework. But it’s unclear how much Houston values Langford.

The Rockets want to avoid the luxury tax. The Celtics don’t want to disrupt their core.

So, what John Hollinger dubbed a stepladder trade could work. One idea:

Boston trades Theis and Poirier to the Thunder for Andre Roberson’s expiring contract. The Celtics could then flip Roberson and a pick for Capela.

From Houston’s perspective, it’d be a three-way trade with Capela (and maybe other players) outgoing and a wing like Covington incoming. Perhaps, Theis – on the move just to make the math work – could be routed to the Rockets, who could use him.

Houston would obviously have to add pick(s) to pry loose the quality wing. The pick from Boston would be available for inclusion.

There’s definitely room to create a reasonable trade here for Thursday’s deadline.