I got back together with old friends Forrest Walker and Richard Li to talk Rockets offseason.
Forrest: This Capela contract is an absolute steal. Not only is it the lowball offer they pitched to him at the start of the summer, it also has zero options, team or player. It’s well below what he would get in any other offseason, and even includes bizarre incentives, making the deal in practice even smaller than the $18 million per year that contract appears to be. In fact, the bizarre nature of those incentives moves this contract from not just team-friendly to outright player-hostile. The idea of making Capela chase after defensive rebounds, free throw percentage and conference finals appearances is honestly a bit beyond the pale, and I understand why he balked at this otherwise tolerable contract.
Be that as it may, the team has locked him up for five years, and any hard feelings will likely fade quite rapidly, especially if they keep giving him those conference finals checks.
My question: Are Trevor Ariza and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute replaceable? Not just their production, but also their fit and chemistry. How much, if any, will Houston miss them?
Probably not. Part of me believes that the NBA, miraculously, still
undervalues long wings who can defend multiple positions and shoot threes. You could make a legitimate case that, outside of your top-25 players, 3-and-D guys who know their role and play within it are the best value for money in the NBA. I mean you would definitely take Mbah a Moute for $5 million over someone like Reggie Jackson for $15 million, right? Every game in the conference finals, both of them, basically ended with alpha dogs and 3-and-D guys on the floor. Everyone else was relegated to the bench. They are the mold of the modern NBA. The best players are increasingly just bigger, better, longer versions of this mold (AD, Kawhi, KD), or a very select few who have some other worldly skillset that compensates for them not being made from the mold (Curry, Kyrie). [read more…]