3 Reasons why Clint Capela's extension is not ideal for the Atlanta Hawks

3 Reasons why Clint Capela
3 Reasons why Clint Capela's extension is not ideal for the Atlanta Hawks
Capela was the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
Capela was the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.

Ever since Clint Capela's blockbuster contract extension with the Atlanta Hawks, which ties him through the 2024-25 season, the validity of this NBA signing has come under the microscope.

The 6-foot-10 center agreed to a two-year, $46 million contract extension. And with two years left on his current contract, he is set to make $82 million over the next four seasons with the Atlanta Hawks.

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After being drafted by the Houston Rockets back in 2014, Clint Capela played six consecutive seasons with the franchise, averaging a double-double of over 12 points and 10 rebounds. Moreover, Clint Capela's recent stint with the Atlanta Hawks might seem like a glorified success, but there's more to it than meets the eye.

On that note, let's see why Clint Capela's extension is not as ideal for the Atlanta Hawks as it might seem on the surface.


#1 The Atlanta Hawks are milking their recent singular postseason run way too much

Trae Young averaged almost 28.8 points this past postseason.
Trae Young averaged almost 28.8 points this past postseason.

After finishing fifth in the East with a 41-31 record, the Atlanta Hawks beat the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers in five and seven games respectively in the playoffs. In his first ever postseason outing, Trae Young did most of the heavylifting as he averaged 29 points and 9.5 assists in 16 games.

To put things into perspective, only one other player (Bojan Bogdanovic) could average half of those points in the same playoffs. While Clint Capela's numbers dropped from 15.2 points and 14.3 rebounds during the regular season to 10.1 points and 11.2 boards in the postseason, no other Hawk apart from Young could cross the 20 ppg mark throughout the year.

The Atlanta Hawks are a surging group of talented players, but the reality is that the last postseason lacked a whole bunch of superstars in LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard, amongst others, due to injuries.

Moreover, when Trae Young got sidelined in the ECF, Clint Capela and the Atlanta Hawks just didn't stand a chance against the well-oiled machinery in the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Hawks front-office cannot possibly be planning their next 5 years based on the outcomes of an league-wide injury-marred postseason. It is highly likely that when the stars return in all of their glory next season, a lot of teams that shined in the playoffs this year might struggle to book a berth.

#2 The Atlanta Hawks have three stars locked up until at least 2025

The front office is going all out to retain their young core.
The front office is going all out to retain their young core.

The Atlanta Hawks exceeded all expectations to march into the Eastern Conference Finals. The front office is looking to build on that gush of momentum to overturn the franchise's long-term fortunes.

Even before the Clint Capela signing, All-star Trae Young agreed to a five-year, $207 Million contract extension while forward John Collins bagged his own five-year contract worth $125 million.

With players like Kevin Huerter, Danilo Gallinari and Cam Reddish next in line, the Atlanta Hawks are betting big on a roster that played their hearts out. But on pulling it back for a bird's eye view, it is apparent that no other player apart from Trae Young is a bonafide superstar.

Betting such big numbers for such extended periods of time on players who are yet to prove their championship mettle in the league could land the Atlanta Hawks in big trouble. When push comes to shove, such lucrative contracts can cramp up the room for future trades and have the front-office gasping for some breathing cap space as well.


#3 Clint Capela stands nowhere near the elite bigs in the league, making it an overpriced contract extension

Capela is yet to cement his legacy as a superstar NBA center.
Capela is yet to cement his legacy as a superstar NBA center.

Clint Capela is not the first name (or even fifth) that comes to mind when one thinks of modern day NBA bigs. Although three pointers and ball handling have redefined the center position in recent times, it is only because superstars like Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo have perfected the art inside-out.

Even though Clint Capela is a viable size option in the paint, when playing against lengthy teams, his arsenal is fairly limited in containing those elite bigs that rule the NBA.

Clint Capela can give the Atlanta Hawks double-digit rebounds on any given night, but even his highest season scoring average was is only as high as 16.6 ppg. He averaged two blocks per game during the regular season, but was visibly uncomfortable guarding Embiid and the Greek Freak when it mattered most down the stretch.

For the Atlanta Hawks, Clint Capela is a respectable center capable of being an anchor for a team that already runs on superstar talent, but doesn't ride on him to win games. Hence, the fair deduction that his value on the court and his yearly salaries seem a bit mis-aligned.

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