Restricted Houston Rockets free agent Clint Capela remains unsigned. Capela is probably the best free agent left on the market, but Houston still believes they can work out a deal with the big man. Rockets CEO Tad Brown reiterated this sentiment on Monday.

Brown told reporters:

“We love Clint. Clint is a big part of our team…We are very hopeful we’re going to get something done very soon. I know Daryl (Morey) and (Clint’s) representatives are working on that every day.”

The Rockets desperately need to re-sign Capela if they want any chance at avenging their Western Conference Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors. Capela’s ability to run the pick-and-roll with James Harden and Chris Paul was a staple of Houston’s offense this past season. Without his length and athleticism, the Rockets would almost certainly take a step back offensively.

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Capela’s contributions are just as important on defense. He is an elite rim protector and he’s no slouch on the perimeter, either. Capela is capable of guarding the pick-and-roll effectively while most big men with his size and skill set are victimized by quicker guards.

The Rockets understand how valuable Capela is to everything they do. It’s imperative they bring him back, but they want to avoid significantly overpaying. While the expectation is that Capela and the Rockets will come to terms eventually, the NBA has a way of surprising everyone when they least expect it.