With the recent news that Houston is looking to blow up their roster (aside from James Harden), the Los Angeles Lakers have an interesting trade option to consider. In need of a big man, the Lakers could try and potentially make a play for young Houston big man Clint Capela.
While the Rockets would most likely want to tack on Paul and his hideous contract to any Capela deal, there aren’t really many teams willing to free up that much money to take on such a hefty contract on an aging player. As a result, that keeps the door open for the Lakers to make a play for Capela without breaking the bank for Paul.
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Lakers Trade Target: Clint Capela Offers Great Fit at Even Better Price
In terms of his game, Capela should be able to step into JaVale McGee‘s exact role from last year and produce at a much more efficient clip. One of the best big men in the pick and roll game while being a monster on the glass and protecting the rim, Capela is a high energy big who really doesn’t need the ball in his hands to make a big impact on the game. While he had a tough series against the Warriors in the playoffs, that shouldn’t discredit his greater body of work.
Most importantly, Capela is on one of the team-friendliest contracts in the NBA and despite his slight dip in production last season due to injury, he remains one of the NBA’s best centers. Costing only $14 million next year with incremental raises each yaer, Capela would help to free up tons of cap space that would otherwise be dedicated to having an elite presence down low.
The combination of price tag and skill set make Capela a near perfect fit for the Lakers, however, he won’t come cheap in terms of what the Lakers give up.
Possible Trade Packages For Clint Capela
The Lakers would likely be able to hang onto their fourth pick (as the Rockets are in win-now mode) allowing them to possibly consider the option of trading Lonzo Ball along with one of their cheaper rookie contracts in Wagner or, more likely, Josh Hart. Capela’s contract and production make him an extremely valuable asset and while Wagner has upside as a solid rotational stretch big man, Hart has already proven he can ball at the NBA level in the right system.
Especially if the Rockets can find a home for Chris Paul, they would almost certainly demand Lonzo in the deal as they want a defensive-minded pass-first point guard to run alongside Harden. Much of the tension in the playoffs this season came due to Paul being angry about the lack of ball movement. however, when you have such a dominant iso player like Harden, more often than not he’s going to give you the best chance to score each time down the court. To that point, Ball’s defensive minded attitude and incredibly creative passing could be a great fit next to Harden.
Though the Lakers would be hesitant to move Ball, as long as they retain the fourth pick they can still bring in Darius Garland, who looked like an OTHERWORLDY talent before gettin injured five games into his freshman season. Garland projects to be a much better fit alongside LeBron with his three point shooting prowess.