Rockets owner wants to sign Chris Paul, keep Clint Capela during offseason
The Houston Rockets fell a step short of reaching the NBA Finals and will now have roster decisions to make coming into the offseason a few weeks earlier than they would’ve liked.
New owner Tilman Fertitta made the team’s priorities rather straightforward.
“Gotta sign Chris [Paul], want to keep Clint [Capela],” he said, according to Lainie Fritz of KPRC Channel 2.
Fertitta isn’t expecting many roster changes to take place this summer, a vastly different approach from the roster overhaul the Rockets underwent in the 2017 offseason, trading for Chris Paul and adding loose pieces to make up for the seven players sent to the L.A. Clippers in exchange.
“You don’t mess with success,” said the owner.
Houston seems to want to carry out this blueprint to the dire ends, as the organization is convinced from top to bottom that the formula for Western Conference supremacy is there to execute.
The Rockets received a gut punch after Paul was injured with a Grade 2 hamstring strain in the winding seconds of Game 5, likely turning the tide in the Golden State Warriors’ favor after they were pushed to the brink of elimination.
Paul’s absence likely factored into the two straight losses, making him an asset the team is still willing to keep. Note that Paul was due to get a max extension from the Clippers in 2017 and turned that down in favor of a trade, making him a free agent in this 2018 offseason.
Capela’s contract won’t be a bargain any longer, having made only $6 million over a four-year deal. If the Rockets choose to sign Paul to a max deal with James Harden already at a supermax, it could prove difficult to give Capela the raise he deserves while keeping other pieces in place coming into the 2018-19 season.
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