Robert Horry says Clint Capela not a max player
The Houston Rockets recently sealed the deal with budding center Clint Capela, awarding him a five-year, $90 million deal to keep their core intact after the loss of Trevor Ariza to the Phoenix Suns early in the offseason.
Former Rockets sharpshooter Robert Horry noted Capela is a beneficiary of Houston’s system, which involves a heavy dose of reigning MVP James Harden drawing crowds, often leaving Capela uncontested for layups, tap-ins, and alley-oop dunks.
“Capela isn’t underrated or overrated,” Horry told Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson on Scoop B Radio.
“What I mean by that is he gets a lot of points because of James Harden. I had the pleasure of playing with Jason Kidd for one game and I got a lot of points because of him. Just because you did this and that, does that make you an elite player?”
Capela has made long strides since being drafted by the team, working from underneath the shadow of Dwight Howard into the undisputed starter. His career-best 13.9 points and 10.8 rebounds per game were a direct product of having two All-Stars controlling the action in Harden and Chris Paul.
The Swiss international benefitted from plenty of breakdowns, often alone for uncontested shots at the rim, hence his league-leading 65.2 percent from the field.
“Everybody says he wants to get max money and to me, he is not a max player, because he is just a player who got a lot of dunks off a really good player who drew a big crowd,” said Horry.
It’s worthy to note that Capela was seeking a deal similar to Steven Adams’ four-year, $100 million deal — one that was signed during the 2016 NBA splurge that saw awful deals like Nicolas Batum’s and Evan Turner’s.
After a month-long back-and-forth, sides compromised on an extra year of service and $10 million in incentives — among them, to shoot free throws above 65 percent, a rebounding rate above 30 percent, and reaching the Western Conference Finals — each worth $1 million per every season of the contract.
To his credit, Capela has been a force in the middle — blocking a career-high 1.9 shots per game and improving his woeful free-throw shooting to an acceptable 56 percent — one he will have to yet again improve if he hopes to reap the most out of his contract.