Clint Capela has drawn interest from the West
The Hawks explored trade options for Clint Capela this past offseason, with the big man beginning a two-year, $45.8 million contract extension. Perhaps more concerning, Capela’s rebounding numbers have fallen for the third straight season since he led the NBA in 2020-21.
Atlanta made it to the Eastern Conference Finals that season, earning Capela that extension.
Still, rumors linked the Hawks pivot to the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and New Orleans Pelicans this past offseason.
Capela has been healthy, missing just two games all season, putting him on pace for a career-high 78 appearances.
The Hawks are 17-25 with him active this season, and they split the two games that he was out.
It’s not all about Capela’s performance this season, which has included shooting a career-high 65.8% at the free throw line but also arguably the worst paint defense of his career. A lot of the Hawks’ previous inclination to move on from Capela was his understudy, Okongwu.
There was an outside belief that Capela’s presence on the roster was stunting Okonwu’s development. But the youngster has shown improvement this season.
Particularly, Okongwu has improved his jump shot to the point that he can play some 4.
That newfound versatility could be what allowed him to re-enter the ranks of the untouchables ahead of the trade deadline. But, with him also starting a four-year, $62 million contract extension next season, the current frontcourt arrangement seems untenable.
Holmes hasn’t contributed much to the Mavericks, and he holds a $12-plus million player option for next season.
He has been a better rim protector than Okongwu in his career, though. Even if his play fails to pick up and he accepts the option – which would be against the Hawks’ ethos this transaction window – Atlanta would save nearly $10 million next season.