The Rockets selected Clint Capela with the No. 25 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here’s a look at Capela and how he fits with Houston:
Bio: Elan Chalon (France) | Age: 20 | Power forward
Vitals: 6-11, 211 pounds
2013-14 stats (French League): 9.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 63.2 FG%
Strengths: Regarded as one of the most athletic European players to ever enter the draft, Capela boasts an intriguing set of physical tools and has been compared with the Thunder's Serge Ibaka. He's coming off a promising season for Chalon and was an interior force in limited playing time (he averaged 22 minutes in league play). Capela moves exceptionally well, finishes effectively around the basket and blocks a lot of shots with his nearly 7-4 wingspan and enormous hands. Those traits help him play above the rim and catch lobs easily. His calling card is his rebounding, with natural instincts that help him grab boards outside of his area on both ends. He's an ideal candidate to draft and let develop overseas, with a chance for a big payoff down the line.
Weaknesses: Capela likes to face up and attack the basket, but he will need to keep honing his mid-range game to be more than just a garbage-man type at power forward. His decision-making isn’t great and there will inevitably be a learning curve for him before he can log NBA minutes. Capela has a long way to go skill-wise and could stand to beef up to handle the rigors of interior play. He’s a physical specimen but risky, a pick best made by one of the eight teams holding multiple first-round selections.
Team fit: Capela was a startlingly productive player against top competition in France and in EuroCup, though it's not immediately clear if he intends to come to the NBA for the 2014-15 season. Houston benefits either way. If Capela makes the jump now, the Rockets will begin the development of an impressive prospect -- likely with their closely monitored D-League affiliate. If Capela stays overseas, Houston keeps his rookie-scale hold off its cap sheet and opens up a bit more room to entice LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony.