If the Houston Rockets truly are to pursue LeBron James in NBA free agency then they will have to waive bye-bye to Clint Capela, who is a restricted free agent. The Rockets would have to do even more than taking Capela’s salary off the books – but that’s a different story for a different day.
The Suns are in position to have a monster off-season, and are loaded with four draft picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. That creates tremendous flexibility for GM Ryan McDonough, who is poised to get Phoenix into playoff contention as soon as next season.
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“According to a league source, one such team is the Phoenix Suns,” Kelly Iko wrote. “They have kept tabs on him throughout the season, and have reportedly become ‘enamored’ with him. They have plans to offer Capela a max or near-max contract once free agency begins. The source requested anonymity because he isn’t authorized to comment on the Suns’ plans.”
The Suns could absolutely offer Capela the max contract he seeks and are one of those textbook “teams on the rise” that look to sign free agents coming off their rookie deals.
Capela was a key figure in the Rockets’ success this past season and gave Golden State fits at times during a Western Conference Finals series that went seven games.
Capela, at 6-foot-10, is regarded as the prototypical modern NBA center. Deandre Ayton, who the Suns will likely take with the first pick in the NBA Draft, is much more of a traditional big. In other words, it could work in Phoenix with two “centers” as teams have begun to look at what works in trying to compete against Golden State.