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Report: Suns could go all-in on signing Rockets’ Capela

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Keep those rumors coming.

Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz - Game Four Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

It is the Thursday before the NBA Draft Lottery and I’m sure we’ve all had our fill of mock drafts before we even know where the Phoenix Suns will pick. It’s DeAndre, Doncic, or disaster. Right?

So instead, chew on this, a paper-thin rumor that your Suns plan to go all-in on Houston Rockets forward Clint Capela once free agency gets underway.

Kelly Iko of USA Today on the interest in Capela:

According to a league source, one such team is the Phoenix Suns. They have kept tabs on him throughout the season, and have reportedly become “enamored” with him. They have plans to offer Capela a max or near-max contract once free agency begins. The source requested anonymity because he isn’t authorized to comment on the Suns’ plans.

This season has been the best in Capela’s four-year career. He’s averaged highs of 13.9 points and 10.8 rebounds and has upped those numbers to 14.4 and 12.2 in the postseason.

It’s important to remember that if an offer is made, Houston can match. I’m inclined to think they would.

As reported recently by Bright Side’s Dave King, the Suns can quickly create up to $18 million in cap space but no more without a trading partner or painful “stretch” waive.

To get that $18 million, they would have to renounce Alex Len and Elfrid Payton AND dump the non-guaranteed contracts of “Big Sauce” Alan Williams, Tyler Ulis, Alec Peters and Shaquille Harrison.

But $18 million is not likely to even entice Clint Capela to sign an offer, and even less likely the Rockets would decline to match.

Capela would want the max to leave the Rockets. He can sign a max contract starting at $25 million per year, meaning the Suns would need to create another $7 million in space.

How?

The Suns would have to find a trade partner who wants to use their cap space to take Brandon Knight ($14.6 million), Tyson Chandler ($13.6), T.J. Warren ($11.75) or Jared Dudley ($9.5) without sending much back to the Suns. Possible but not likely.

That’s a lot of players being released just to create space for Capela to sign an offer sheet that might be matched by the Rockets anyway.

That’s adding only Capela and “Top4” to last year’s 21-win team.

The Suns core would then be “Top4”, Capela, Devin Booker and Josh Jackson, plus Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and Troy Daniels and three of Knight/Chandler/Dudley/Warren.