Clint Capela staying with Houston Rockets on reported 5-year, $90M extension

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Clint Capela signs new contract with Rockets (KTRK)

After weeks of uncertainty of whether he would be back with the Rockets, Clint Capela has decided to stay put.

The 24-year-old Rockets center has reportedly reached an agreement on a five-year, $90 million extension with Houston.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the pact on the restricted free agent on Friday.

Reports surfaced throughout the summer that both sides were at an impasse in terms of money.

In restricted free agency, players are allowed to sign offer sheets with another team. Their current team, in this case, the Rockets, would have had 48 hours to either match the offer or let Capela join a new team.

Another option for Capela was signing his qualifying offer for $4.7 million. That would have been his salary for the upcoming season and he would have become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. Players usually have all the leverage when it comes to unrestricted free agency.

It was vital for the Rockets to retain Capela, who took a major leap in the 2017-18 season. The leap was so big, he was a finalist for the Most Improved Player award. His defensive ability and rim protection were a big factor in the Rockets having one of the top defenses. Most will remember his six block game against the Utah Jazz in the second round of the playoffs. Five of them came in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

Capela's offensive game also took a big leap. He found new chemistry in the pick and roll alongside Chris Paul and James Harden, forming one of the more potent "Big 3s." Capela also developed more into a passer, being able to work from the top of the key or kicking it to someone in the corner on the roll.

Capela averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks with a field goal percentage of 65.2. All of those were a career high for him.

The 24-year-old still has room to improve and his best years are ahead of him. Locking him up for the long haul alongside Paul and Harden should have Rockets fans excited for years to come.
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