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The Phoenix Suns are “enamored” with Houston Rockets center Clint Capela and preparing to offer the free-agent-to-be a near-maximum or even maximum contract this offseason, according to USA Today.
Capela and the Rockets tip off the Western Conference Finals vs. the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Monday.
After the season, Capela will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Rockets can match any offer he receives from another team and keep him.
But that apparently won’t stop the Suns, who have gobs of space under the salary cap, as well as the best odds to win next week’s NBA Draft Lottery. Phoenix finished with an NBA-worst record of 21-61.
“With free agency approaching, Capela is due for a huge payday,” USA Today wrote. “He is currently in the final year of his rookie deal, making approximately $2.3 million this season. Even though he is a restricted free agent, Clint Capela figures to have a list of suitors once July 1 arrives.”
Capela, 23, is in his fourth NBA season, all with the Rockets. He averaged career-highs of 13.9 points and 10.8 rebounds in 72 regular-season games, as well as nearly two blocked shots per game.
He has increased those averages in the Rockets’ 10 postseason games to 14.4 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.