BOSTON (CBS) — The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, and the rumor mill is starting to fire up again as teams try to get the most for their tradeable assets. Rockets big man Clint Capela is one of the hottest names on the market, and now the Boston Celtics are reportedly among the teams in trade talks with Houston.
Celtics fans craving a “Woj Bomb” got one Monday afternoon, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that Boston is one of the many teams engaged in Capela trade talks with the Rockets. Wojnarowski also floats the Atlanta Hawks as a potential landing spot for Capela, with the Rockets hoping to add first-round picks to then flip for a wing player and another center ahead of the deadline.
The Celtics could use some size at the deadline, but the asking price for Capela is likely too right for Danny Ainge. The Celtics have expendable draft picks to offer up with as many as three first-round picks in the upcoming draft, including Memphis’ first-round selection, but Houston is going to want a lot more than a mid-round pick.
The Celtics would have to match what is left of Capela’s $14.9 salary this season, so Boston would have to send out roughly $10 million in any deal for the big man, which is certainly doable. It would likely mean losing a rotation piece in either Daniel Theis or Enes Kanter, in addition to other young talent on the roster to fill out the salary match, likely rookie guard Romeo Langford. While the duo of Theis and Kanter have played well in their roles, Capela would be a big upgrade over either.
But at this time of the year, it’s usually the moves you don’t hear about that are the ones that Ainge ends up making. He may be truly interested in acquiring Capela, but he could just as easily be looking to play facilitator in a three-team deal to land something else that could help the Celtics.
The 25-year-old Capela has missed the last three games with a heel injury, but is averaging 13.9 points and 13.8 rebounds per game this season. He has three more years on his contract after the 2019-20 season for $53.3 million. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m.