For a while, it looked like the Houston Rockets were going to blow their chances at competing in the Western Conference. When the offseason began, two of the members of their three-headed dragon were headed for free agency: Chris Paul, and Clint Capela.
Paul quickly re-signed for the enormous maximum of four years, $160 million. Given that he’s already 33, it was a sign that the Rockets are playing to win now. It made it that much more confusing, then, when it was reported that the team was low-balling Capela with relatively small contracts.
Capela - a restricted free agent - was reportedly unhappy with the team for the offer, and was leaning towards taking the one-year qualifying offer, which would allow him to enter unrestricted free agency in 2019, and sign with any team.
Apparently the two sides worked out their differences, as they settled on a five-year, $90 million deal.
Houston has reached an agreement with Clint Capela on a 5-year, $90m extension, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 27, 2018
It’s a steal for Houston. For comparison, Capela will be making fewer dollars per year than Jabari Parker and Zach LaVine, two vastly inferior players with injury histories, who each signed with the Chicago Bulls this summer.
Capela is only 24, and is coming off a career year in which he averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.
Houston still got a little worse this offseason, as they let Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute leave, and opted instead to sign Carmelo Anthony. That was a negative move.
But by retaining Capela and Paul under long-term contracts, Houston has ensured that they’ll stay near the top of the West for many years to come.