The first blockbuster trade of the NBA trade season has been fully realised, with a massive four team, twelve player deal based around Houston centre Clint Capela.
Atlanta, Minnesota and Denver are the other teams involved other than Houston, making it one of the biggest trades in NBA history.
The centrepiece of the deal, Clint Capela, is sent to Atlanta along with Nene. The Timberwolves acquire Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Evan Turner, Jarred Vanderbilt and Brooklyn’s 2020 first round pick. Denver bring in a haul of Keita Bates-Diop, Shabazz Napier, Gerald Green, Noah Vonleh and Houston’s 2020 first round pick.
In return for losing two big men, Houston receive Jordan Bell, Robert Covington and Golden State’s 2024 second round pick.
While Minnesota and Denver seem to be acquiring assets and depth players, Houston and Atlanta have gone all in, and in completely different directions.
The Hawks now have 5 big men in their rotation, not including John Collins who regularly takes up the 5 spot.
However, Clint Capela is more preferable and a better fit for Atlanta than their other target, Andre Drummond.
Despite having an injury bug, Clint Capela is an explosive offensive talent and will benefit on pick and roll situations with Trae.
Capela averaged almost 14 points and rebounds per game for the Rockets and is top 5 in offensive rebounds, an invaluable asset for Atlanta who are 24th in that category.
Meanwhile in Houston, the Rockets are proving that not everything has to be big in Texas.
Although Houston acquired the 6’8 Jordan Bell, reports are coming out that PJ Tucker will start in the 5th position.
Tucker, who is 6’5, has filled in that spot several times in the season during the Rocket’s small ball rotation, but now it seems that Houston will permanently adopt this style of play.
Houston has been experimenting with the small ball lineup several times this season with varying degrees of success, but if the Rockets choose to start 5 players with an average height of 6’5, it will be almost unprecedented strategy.
Last week during their February 1 hoedown with fellow Texans the Mavericks, the Rockets didn’t play a single player over 6’6, a lineup that hadn’t been seen since the New York Knicks lost to the Chicago Zephyrs on January 31st, 1963.
Although there is a lot of speculation around the direction of the Rockets, with Capela and his 5 year $90 million contract gone it at least gives Houston some breathing space and money to play with.
Winners: Atlanta Hawks, Jordan Bell
Losers: Minnesota, PJ Tucker