Clint Capela is a restricted free agent, but the expectation is that he will eventually reach a deal to keep him in Houston. The Rockets need Capela if they want to remain an elite contender in the West. Obviously, James Harden and Chris Paul are the boosters that make the Rockets fly, but Capela's the third piece that pushes them over the top.
Which is why it's no surprise that Capela wants to cash in on his importance to Houston. According to ESPN, Capela and the Rockets have been in negotiations over a new deal and Capela is asking for a shuttle carrier's worth of money. He wants his contract somewhere in the $100 million range.
Sources told ESPN that the Rockets' initial offer to Capela was in the four-year, $60 million range, with the blossoming star center seeking a deal similar to Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams' four-year, $100 million contract.
It's a little surprising that Capela has gone this deep into free agency without a contract, but that is most likely related to him being a restricted free agent. Teams don't want to tie up money into him with an offer sheet knowing that Houston will just match whatever offer is made. Capela, on the other hand, is just going to hold out for as much money as he can.
In most cases, restricted free agents waiting around for more money hurts their value. Eventually, teams run out of cap space and they just can't afford to meet the demands of the player. Capela, however, has an advantage over the Rockets. Houston has already allowed defensive-minded wings such as Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute walk in free agency. They can't afford to lose their top rim protector in Capela. He's just too important. Capela is going to ask for his money and the Rockets are in a situation where they just might have to give it to him.