The Los Angeles Lakers are going to take the league and world by storm with a positionless lineup of five centers. Thus far, they’ve drafted Moritz Wagner, re-signed Ivica Zubac unexpectedly, reportedly shown interest in DeMarcus Cousins, JaVale McGee and Amir Robinson and now are taking a meeting the Clint Capela.
Take that, Warriors.
David Aldridge of TNT and NBA.com broke news of the meeting:
Lakers, working multiple scenarios, will meet this afternoon with Rockets RFA Clint Capela, per league source.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 1, 2018
It’s worth noting that there is almost no scenario where the Houston Rockets don’t match an offer on Capela, who is a restricted free agent. They’ve already lost Trevor Ariza to the Phoenix Suns and are all-in after paying Chris Paul the GDP of a small country. Losing another key role player only months removed from playing in the Western Conference Finals simply isn’t an option, one would think.
On the Lakers’ side of this potential meeting, Capela does make some sense. He can protect the rim, is a good finisher and has shown immense growth in his short time in the NBA. Still, it’s hard to see them offering enough money that Houston wouldn’t match their offer. Frankly, that amount of money doesn’t really exist.
There’s a non-zero chance Julius Randle might be available for his qualifying offer if the market dries up, and in terms of value, Randle at $5.5 million or even Brook Lopez at whatever he’ll demand on a dry market is a lot more feasible than max dollars on Capela.
Offering a huge contract would also tie up the Lakers’ cap situation for two days as Houston would absolutely take their full time allowed in matching an offer to punish the Lakers for making the offer. Bottom line here, if Capela was an unrestricted free agent, maybe this would make sense for the Lakers. As he isn’t, though, this meeting will more than likely be a fruitless endeavor.
But really, who knows anymore. NBA free agency is about as unpredictable as it gets.
To track all of the latest free agency rumors about the Lakers, go to this page.