The incentives on Clint Capela's contract, per a league source: $1 million for reaching the Western Conference finals, $500,000 for finishing with a 30% defensive rebounding rate, and $500,000 for shooting at least 65% from the free throw line. Those are for each of the 5 seasons
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) July 27, 2018
There’s a ton to unpack here, some of which I’ve already tweeted about. If you’re not following me, why not? I’ll do this in bullet point form so that I don’t need to make paragraphs. It’s 10PM…who has the mental energy for that?
- As I said earlier, the incentives above are interesting in that they signify what management deems valuable. The free throw percentage goes without saying. But the omissions of blocked shot percentage and offensive rebounding percentage, particularly the former, are notable. With respect to offensive rebounding percentage, incentivization could preclude a desire for everyone to get back defensively rather than crashing the boards. And the absence of blocks most likely indicates that the Rockets believe that the stat really doesn’t hold much value. Houston doesn’t always want Clint to chase his man and chase down cheap blocks; they want him to perform within the framework of their defensive system.
- Capela’s progression has been fascinating. I viewed him as a long shot project when he was initially drafted and now he’s getting paid the check I thought Dwight Howard would be getting to play center for the Rockets. Not only did he replace Howard, but he’s become exactly what Houston thought it was getting when it signed Howard, but with modern-day versatility on the perimeter.
- I wrote earlier in the year that I wonder what the next step is for Capela in terms of skill development. The thought crossed my mind when some article or another regarding his offseason training regiment mentioned that he did a certain number of Euro-steps per day (in addition to free throws.) That’s indicative of a belief that the maneuver would be helpful to Capela in game situations–as counterintuitive as that may seem (for a big man.) And it has been. Will we ever see him shoot jumpshots? People always talk about post-up moves when the discussion pertains to big man skill development. I’m more interested in face-up moves. Can he comfortably face his man up on the perimeter, take two dribbles, and drive to the rim like Amare Stoudemire? We’ve seen him do this many times, but can he make this a weapon?
- Speaking of Amare, how does Clint, with his defensive prowess, stack up against prime Amare?
- With Capela and Chris Paul now locked up long term, the Rockets have the core of their team under contract for the next four seasons. Add Eric Gordon to that mix for the next two. The great tragedy to me is Chris Paul’s age. If he were say, 30, instead of 33, you’re looking at a near guaranteed run of consecutive 60+ win seasons.