It's no secret that Clint Capela is feeling undervalued by the Houston Rockets, who now find themselves in a conundrum, hoping to keep their improved center after doling out a whopping $160 million over four years to All-Star point guard Chris Paul.
Th Rockets are up to the elbows in luxury tax and have only signed players to one-year minimum deals to be able to make one last shopping indulgence in Capela, yet their offer has fallen well short of the big man's expectations.
According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Rockets offered Capela a four-year deal in the $60 million range, but he is seeking a contract similar to Steven Adams' $100 million deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“We know we're going to be in the luxury tax, and if you want to compete for a championship, I feel like unless you get real lucky, you're going to be in the luxury tax,” owner Tilman Fertitta said before the Rockets took on the Clippers during a Monday Summer League game. “So it is what it is. … It never even came up in any discussion.”
In short, the Rockets would not only have to be in the luxury tax but also have a problem very similar to the Thunder and could reach $300 million in payroll in the near future if more considerable additions are made.
Houston would have two max-level players in James Harden (supermax) and Paul, along with a center reeling a nine-digit contract.
Acquiring Anthony on a veteran's minimum contract is still a possibility, but one that will prove all that much more difficult if they also plan to bring him off the bench — as two concessions are much more than he'd be willing to make.