The Clint Capela to the Hawks rumors have picked up some steam in recent hours, but it seems we finally have some context to what these conversations have sounded like. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the best in the business, the Rockets are seeking first-round picks from Atlanta in efforts to land a wing player:
Sources: The Atlanta Hawks remain a possible landing spot for Capela too. Rockets are pursuing first-round picks to flip into a deal for a wing player and another center. Robert Covington and Andre Iguodala are among several Houston targets. https://t.co/uWXqPqEx6T
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 3, 2020
This news opens up the landscape for a three-team trade scenario. It goes without saying that the Hawks’ 2020 selection is entirely off-limits. However, if they could deal the Nets’ 2020 pick, which is currently slotted in at 16th overall, and package up a protected future pick years down the road, the two sides could be a match. The Hawks are looking to make a push and find a rim-protecting big man; they could kill two birds with one stone if they go this route. Capela is still just 25 years old and on a reasonable contract that will pay him $14 million this season, $16 million in 2020-2021, $17 million in 2021-2022, and $18 million in 2022-2023. The Hawks can only add so many more rookies to their roster and expect to win. This move would also leave them with enough money to add another max player in the future.
Capela has played in a similar style of offense in Houston, though around more experienced and talented players. He is currently ranked fourth in the NBA with 13.8 rebounds per game, good for the most for any player age 25 or under.
It will be intriguing to see how things play out for Houston. They are still in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race but have struggled a bit as of late. There have been reports that Mike D’Antoni and/or Daryl Morey could be out at season’s end. It makes little sense that they would want to trade Capela for an aging Andre Iguodala. However, the team is also under pressure to get below the luxury tax. The Wolves reportedly want two first-rounders for Robert Covington, so if he is the player they covet, the Hawks best bet may be to acquire him. Atlanta might have to send Alex Len if a third team cannot provide Houston with a center.
Capela would be a nice addition for Atlanta at the right price. These reports indicate that the Hawks may be able to acquire him at a reasonable cost. Stay tuned as the trade deadline approaches on Thursday.