As of Thursday, league sources told The Athletic the Rockets have been shopping Capela and Eric Gordon for a first-round pick that could then be used to entice Philadelphia to do a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler.
Before the draft, Houston had discussions with the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans about a possible trade involving Capela, including the possibility of moving him for the fourth overall pick in those proceedings.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Reporting w/ @ZachLowe: Houston’s offering Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker individually to teams w/ space to absorb salary. Rockets trying for best available first-rounder for any of those three, hoping to redirect pick to Philly in pursuit of Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade.
Butler would be eligible to sign a four-year, $140 million contract on the way to the Rockets, but Houston would likely need to include center Clint Capela and guard Eric Gordon to make the financial deal work, sources said.
Trading Paul would have positioned the Rockets to be a Clint Capela or Eric Gordon trade away from freeing up the cap space to sign Jimmy Butler, who league sources say they plan to pursue.
Ian Begley: Something worth noting regarding the Celtics: Boston and Houston had checked in recently about a potential trade involving Clint Capela, per SNY sources. ESPN reported recently that the Rockets had made much of their roster available via trade.
The Rockets have had conversations around Capela — and had preliminary conversations about All-Star Chris Paul, including discussing Paul deals with teams that have the necessary cap space to absorb his three years and $125 million after the free-agency moratorium in July, league sources said.
There have been reports that the Celtics have had trade talks with the Rockets about their talented young center, Clint Capela, who has four years left on his five-year, $90 million deal. A league source said Saturday that the Celtics are intrigued by Capela, but that the sides have not had any trade talks and that a deal for Capela is unlikely because Boston would not have interest in surrendering the players needed to complete the trade.
Steve Kyler: The Celtics from what I have heard engaged pretty seriously on Clint Capella... have had some level of talks with Terry Rozier on a new deal. Everything is very fluid at this stage in the draft/trade process. It's finding out what you can do.
The Rockets are indeed shopping everyone on the roster not named Harden. The complexities involved in moving Chris Paul, who at age 34 has three years and nearly $125 million left on his contract, have Houston officials actively exploring the trade market for Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker.
As one source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said, they are operating under the belief that at least one of those three mainstays will not be a Rocket next season.
After another playoff exit at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, the Houston Rockets -- maybe because their top two stars are not playing nice with one another -- are looking to overhaul their roster. An NBA source tells DBcom that starting on Tuesday, the Rockets started the process of making "for-sale'' phone calls. And when one of those calls is placed to Dallas, and the subject is center Clint Capela? The Mavericks will be interested.
Wojnarowski reports that all players under contract, besides James Harden, could be moved in the right deal. That leaves players such as aging point guard Chris Paul, the star who is reportedly in conflict with Harden. And it leaves a player like Capela, who an NBA source tells DBcom the Mavs surely envision as a fine front-court partner alongside Kristaps Porzingis.
Salman Ali: Woj on Rockets (@SportsCenter): "I think (Clint) Capela is probably the most tradeable of the group... That's been the name that's been more of a topic here in recent days with the calls that Daryl Morey is generating out of Houston." pic.twitter.com/2iSosBSEjM
Mike Fisher: #Rockets either have already called #Mavs about trading for Clint Capela, or are about to. And when they do? DAL will listen ... pic.twitter.com/UlXJJmuu2d
The Rockets have been more aggressive in offering up Capela in recent days, sources said. Houston has lost in the conference final and conference semifinal to Golden State in consecutive years.
March 2, 2021 | 11:11 am EST Update
NBA Central: “I don’t think it’s any secret in the league Victor Oladipo has a desire to play in Miami. He’d like to go there in free agency. They’re going to have cap space, so that may happen.” – Brian Windhorst pic.twitter.com/QrATjw5hQl
March 2, 2021 | 9:47 am EST Update
Still, league insiders don’t believe the Celtics can stand pat, and potentially waste a year of the primes of their two young building blocks who are playing at an elite level. “There comes a time where you have to do something to keep your stars placated and show that you’re trying, especially when they’re young and early in their primes,” the East executive said. “You have to make that commitment to them.”
That’s something Ainge has been reluctant to do in the past. The last time Boston acquired a player in an in-season trade was six years ago, when the team landed Isaiah Thomas from Phoenix. Only the San Antonio Spurs have a longer drought. “They’ll only do something,” the West executive said, “if they think they’re going to bury you.”