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The ‘biggest reason’ Houston traded Clint Capela for Robert Covington, per Daryl Morey

Rockets, Daryl Morey, Clint Capela, Robert Covington

As part of a recent interview on First Things First, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey laid out the reasons why he decided to trade Clint Capela for Robert Covington.

The Rockets traded Capela to the Atlanta Hawks ahead of this season’s deadline as part of a four-team, 12-player deal. During his appearance on the show, Morey noted that he liked Capela’s game, but the fit just wasn’t good enough to get his team over the championship hump.

“We actually thought it would work with Capela and it was working,” Morey said during his interview on First Things First. “It just wasn’t working good enough to win the championship. So once we saw how that didn’t work, then we thought we had to make another move.”

After the trade, the Rockets were left without a traditional big man to play in the post. As a result, the team has been playing “small ball” lineups. Early returns on this strategy have been surprisingly good.

Morey noted that the biggest reason for the Capela trade was the ability to acquire Robert Covington — a player who many teams had their eye on at the deadline.

“The biggest reason for the trade was to get Covington and he’s actually been even better than we thought,” Morey said. “Not only how good he is, but how much he helps everyone on the team, but in particular Russell Westbrook. The driving lanes for him are super important.”

Covington’s numbers are up with the Rockets. In 10 appearances with his new team (nine starts), the 29-year-old forward has racked up averages of 13.4 points on 41.6 percent shooting from the field (36.4 percent from beyond the arc), 8.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 2.5 blocks and 1.2 steals in 32.4 minutes per outing.

Will Houston’s small-ball net a championship, or will they fall short again?