National Basketball Association free agency grades: Rockets will keep Clint Capela

Mike D'Antoni

Houston re-signed point guard Chris Paul earlier this month, while they retained the services of star center Clint Capela on a new five-year deal.

While much of this summer's National Basketball Association free agency madness has come to an end, there was still one big deal out there waiting to be signed: restricted free agent Clint Capela.

The 24-year old was awesome against Karl-Anthony Towns and Minnesota in the opening round - 15.8 points, 14.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.

The others on that list are Wilt Chamberlain, Artis Gilmore and Rudy Gobert. Had he instead signed a $4.3 million qualifying offer, he would have entered 2019 as an unrestricted free agent.

The contract now pushes the Rockets' payroll to $136 million, the fourth highest in the league behind Oklahoma City, Golden State and Toronto.

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While figuring out a way to keep him intact for the foreseeable future, as the 6-foot-9, 240-pound force is one of the game's premier big men when it comes to setting screens, protecting the rim and running the floor.

Now, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey can officially seek to build his roster around Harden, Paul and Capela.

Forward Luc Mbah A Moute, who appeared in 61 games for Houston last season, then signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Capela was selected by Houston with the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. His 42 double-doubles were eighth most in the league.

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