Report: Rockets exploring center trade market with Clint Capela injured

AP Photo/David J. Phillip
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Clint Capela is expected to miss several weeks with a fractured fibula, leaving the Rockets’ center options as:

  • Nene, Capela’s primary backup
  • Montrezl Harrell, who has played well in limited minutes
  • Chinanu Onuaku, a second-round rookie who has played only in the D-League this season
  • Ryan Anderson and Kyle Wiltjer, stretch fours

If that looks a little underwhelming, it’s because Houston planned to retain Donatas Motiejunas until that went south.

So now what?

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The hottest name available is Nerlens Noel, but unless the 76ers are willing to sell low – they, of course, say they’re not – he’s probably too good to be a six-week fill-in. Noel’s defensive skills duplicate Capela’s, which would create a logjam when Capela returns. Then, Noel is poised to grab a big contract in restricted free agency next summer. With Capela already in the fold, I doubt the Rockets want to commit to that.

They’re probably fine with Nene and Harrell. Nene is an established veteran, and Harrell has seized his opportunities when given playing time.

Perhaps, a small trade could make sense. At 21-7 and on a 10-game winning streak, Houston is playing for home-court advantage in the first two rounds. Every game matters when battling the Spurs and Clippers for playoff position.

But the franchise’s long-term health matters too, and this isn’t the right time for the Rockets to panic about a medium-term injury.