The Rockets continue trying to rebuild the bench they willingly depleted this summer.
The Rockets’ latest two signings won’t move the needle much either next season, but at least these players carry more upside – No. 25 pick Clint Capela and No. 42 pick Nick Johnson.
The Houston Rockets signed rookie forward Clint Capela on Wednesday, a source told Yahoo Sports.
The Rockets will pay the maximum $500,000 to Capela’s previous club, France Chalon, to receive his official FIBA letter of clearance.
Under the NBA rookie scale, Capela will make $991,000 next season and $1.03 million the 2014-15 season with options for two more seasons.
A day after the Rockets completed play in the Las Vegas Summer League, the Rockets expected the signing of Johnson to be imminent, a person with knowledge of their talks said. Johnson will sign a three-year deal.
Second-round pick Alessandro Gentile is expected to remain in Europe for at least another season.
Though signing a first-round pick is typically standard fare, the Capela signing is newsworthy because he and the Rockets initially squabbled about when the Swiss forward would join the NBA. With Bosh no longer in play, though, Houston could stand to pay Capela now.
I wouldn’t the take the reported salary as gospel. That’s 100 percent of scale, and nearly every first-rounder signs for 120 percent of scale. Perhaps, the Rockets gave Capela a lower contract because they’re handling his buyout, but it’s also possible, given the wording, Spears is assuming the wrong numbers.
Johnson showed some promise during uneven summer-league play, and the undersized shooting guard from Arizona could carve out an NBA role. He’s not ready yet, though.
Gentile, chosen No. 53, joins Marko Todorovic, Kostas Papanikolaou, Jon Diebler, Sergio Llull, Maarty Leunen, Brad Newly, Axel Hervelle, Sergei Lishchuk and Venson Hamilton as unsigned players whose rights the Rockets hold. Maybe nothing ever comes of that – or maybe Daryl Morey uses some of those assets to really get the Rockets back on the track they abandoned this offseason.