Hawks: Clint Capela is deserving of some hardware consideration this offseason

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When the Hawks made the trade for Clint Capela, I was pretty happy. The Hawks only gave up a first-round pick and Evan Turner, and even if they got 2020 Clint Capela, this would have been a good trade. They didn’t get 2020 Clint Capela; the Hawks got an absolute monster.

Before the season, I predicted that Capela would set career highs in rebounds and points. He is on pace to absolutely fly by those numbers. Right now, Capela is leading the NBA in total rebounds per game — a smooth 14.1. Defensively, Clint has been on fire lately — racking up three blocks per game over his past six games. On top of his incredible performance blocking shots, he’s been averaging 20 points per game along with 13.7 rebounds per game.

Regardless of Miles Bridges’ incredible dunk, Capela was only in that position because he’s down there playing hard defense and doing the dirty work. According to RAPTOR, Capela is the 2nd most valuable defensive player in the NBA behind Rudy Gobert. He’s also fifth in total RAPTOR in the entire NBA. So, should he get some consideration for NBA regular season awards? I think so, 100%.

The most improved player award will almost undoubtedly go to Julius Randle, but Capela has made some very impressive strides of his own. He will likely set a career-high in rebounds per game, blocks per game, and he’s very close to breaking his own personal best for points per game as well. I think he’s very worthy of Defensive Player of the Year consideration, but Rudy Gobert may bring it home for the 100th time. Regardless, it would be nice to see the national media give Capela the love that he deserves. He has been absolutely fantastic in Atlanta despite basically being given away by the Rockets, and he’s looking like an absolute bargain at about $16 million per year until 2023. I don’t think he’ll end up with any awards at the end of the season, but if he keeps playing as he has over the past two weeks — the NBA will have no choice.

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