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Rockets Nearly Traded Clint Capela To Celtics For Marcus Smart In 2019

The Houston Rockets were busy during the off-season of 2019, and their eagerness almost netted the team Marcus Smart.

HOUSTON — Three years ago, the Houston Rockets were on the verge of keeping their championship window open for as long as possible. The Rockets had just sustained their second consecutive elimination to the Golden State Warriors, and then-general-manager Daryl Morey was on the verge of making a blockbuster deal to help Houston. 

The Rockets' most significant trade of the offseason was by flipping Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook. But prior to landing the former league MVP, Morey almost executed a trade that sent Clint Capela to the Boston Celtics.  

According to Bleacher Report, the Rockets had a deal in place that would have sent Capela to Boston for Marcus Smart and a first-round draft pick.

"In 2019, when Jazz CEO of basketball operations Danny Ainge was still the president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics, they held serious draft night trade discussions with the Houston Rockets about acquiring Clint Capela for Marcus Smart and the No. 22 pick," Jake Fischer wrote. "The agreed-in-principle deal ultimately fell short, but the Rockets were targeting Brandon Clarke before the Memphis Grizzlies swept in to steal the Gonzaga product at No. 21."

The trade fell through, and Capela returned to Houston for his sixth season, but his career with the Rockets did not last long. 

In February of 2020, the Rockets traded Capela to the Atlanta Hawks. The deal was a four-team trade where Houston landed Robert Covington. The trade also involved the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves.

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