By Agence France-Presse
Swiss center Clint Capela moved from the Houston Rockets to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a reported massive 12-player, four-team deal ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline.
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets and Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets look to rebound on January 26, 2020 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Bart Young / NBAE via Getty Images / AFP)
Multiple reports Wednesday outlined a major talent swap involving the Rockets, Hawks, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves as clubs make final transfers to set rosters for fights to reach the playoffs or improve their chances at a title run.
In the deal, according to ESPN and The Athletic websites, the Rockets get 3-point shooting forward Robert Covington and forward Jordan Bell from the T-Wolves, adding an outside scoring threat to star guards James Harden, the NBA scoring leader, and Russell Westbrook. Houston also landed a 2024 second-round NBA Draft pick.
Capela, who has been sidelined in the past few games with a sore heel, and Brazilian big man Nene went from the Rockets to Atlanta, which was looking for centers.
The Nuggets obtained Keita Bates-Diop, Shabazz Napier and Noah Vonleh from Minnesota plus injured Rocket Gerald Green and Houston's 2020 first-round NBA Draft pick.
Minnesota obtains Denver's Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez -- a Spanish forward -- and Jarred Vanderbilt plus Atlanta's Evan Turner and a 2020 NBA Draft first-round pick from the Hawks.
ESPN reported the Hawks will release forward Chandler Parsons to create the roster space needed to complete the massive deal.
The Houston Chronicle reported that the deal might not be finalized until the NBA trade deadline and could yet be expanded to include other teams interested in assets as part of deals with the clubs or players involved.
Houston will have wing talent that can hit from the outside and bolster the defensive side for the Rockets, while Atlanta All-Star guard Trae Young now has multiple big men to partner with inside.
Covington averages 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds this season while hitting an average of 2.3 3-pointers a game, shooting at 34.6 percent from beyond the arc this season and 35.8 percent for his career.
Capela, 25, is averaging 13.9 points and a career-high 13.8 rebounds a game.
The Rockets also seek a center to utilize in specific situations against Western Conference big men such as Utah's Rudy Gobert or Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, but Houston will play a small and fast lineup much of the time.