Capela is a dominant rim protector who can set hard screens and rebound at a high level. Brad Stevens’ position-less style of play doesn’t necessarily require a center, however, as Boston watched its glaring weakness rear its ugly head against All-Star center Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals; it’s safe to believe Danny Ainge is searching for an upgrade this offseason.
The Boston Celtics & Atlanta Hawks Trade Proposal
In a trade proposal outlined by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, he frames a deal for the Hawks and Celtics that would send Capela to Boston in exchange for Romeo Langford, Daniel Thies, Enes Kanter, and the No. 14 pick in this year’s NBA draft. Buckley explains why this would be a steal for the Hawks.
“Capela had this pact when Atlanta acquired him in February, so there’s no reason to think it will scare off the Hawks for next season,” Buckley writes. “Still, they probably shouldn’t be hyper-focused on the present when they’re coming off a 20-47 campaign (and haven’t cleared 30 wins since 2016-17) and their best player, Trae Young, recently turned 22-year-old.
“The Hawks wouldn’t abandon hope of competing for the 2021 playoffs here, as they potentially add four rotation players. But the top prizes are the 21-year-old Langford and the draft pick, which would be their second of the lottery. This should further brighten the future, plus it makes it easier to commit to John Collins, which feels like a no-brainer when he’s 23-years-old and getting 20-point, 10-board doubles-doubles in his sleep.”
Capella averaged 13.9 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 39 games for the Houston Rockets last season. He was dealt to the Hawks back in February as part of a four-team, 12-player deal.
Will Clint Capela Turn The Boston Celtics Into Title-Contenders?
As for the Celtics, this move would expedite Robert Williams’ development while second-year big man Grant Williams would have a much more prominent role in Stevens’ rotation in the frontcourt.
“The Celtics, meanwhile, would decide they are one big man – more specifically, one Capela (whom they discussed at the deadline, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski) – away from a title,” Buckley added. “They could still liberally switch assignments on defense, he’d add muscle in the middle and the offense would benefit from having a more reliable vertical spacer than Robert Williams III. Boston would also increase its offseason flexibility by thinning out its crowded roster.”
Capela is also under contract for the next two seasons and at $17.1, $18.2 million, respectively, per year – for a player of Capela’s caliber, that’s a bargain in today’s NBA. My only concern is how much the Hawks value someone like Langford, who could have really showcased himself in a solid role in place of Gordon Hayward but missed the rest of the postseason shortly after Hayward’s injury.
But if you’re the Celtics, you’re hoping the Hawks bite at the thought of adding two everyday centers to go with a prospect they could be eyeing at the No. 14 in this year’s draft.