Boston Celtics

Dec 16, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) dunks the ball during the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com

With the NBA trade deadline just three days away, it’s time for the yearly “will they, won’t they” Celtics pursuit of a big man. Those rumors got kickstarted Monday afternoon when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Boston has been in contact with the Houston Rockets about center Clint Capela.

The 6-foot-10 Capela is averaging 13.9 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks over 39 games for the Rockets this year. However, the performance comes with a hefty price. The 25-year-old Capela is under contract through the end of the 2022-2023 season, and due between $15 million and $18 million a year during that stretch.

According to Wojnarowski, the Celtics main competitor to land Capela’s services is their Monday night opponent, the Atlanta Hawks. Despite an Eastern Conference-worst 13-37 record, the Hawks are trying to put pieces around their young core of Trae Young and John Collins. Capela and his three remaining years under contract would be a way to do so. On Twitter, Woj laid out what it might take to get a deal done.

Boston currently has three first-round picks in June’s NBA Draft, all projected to end up outside the lottery. The Hawks have their own pick, which right now looks like it will be in the top five. They also have the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ pick, although it is protected in spots 1-14 through 2022.

Although these rumors seem to swirl every year, keep in mind Celtics general manager Danny Ainge hasn’t made a consequential deadline deal since 2015, when he traded Marcus Thornton and a first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns for Isaiah Thomas.

The NBA trade deadline is this Thursday at 3 p.m.

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com