A lot of shoving, jawing and technical fouls played out in the chippy game which also had ejections to Blake Griffin and Trevor Ariza.
Things got so heated up, players from Houston namely James Harden, Chris Paul and Ariza made way to the Clippers changing room to confront Patrick Beverley, Austin Rivers and Griffin.
Security personnel caught wind of this issue and prevented it from escalating further. In what has been a wild week in the NBA, Clippers matchup with Houston was one of many ejection themed games. Nemanja Bjelica and Arron Afflalo got into it in Orlando Magic’s tie against Minnesota Timberwolves, Ben Simmons had his fair share with Kyle Lowry in Philadelphia Sixers close win over Toronto Raptors.
When the dust settled, Clippers got hit with news of Center DeAndre Jordan’s desire to move to Houston Rockets. In the midst of a retooling gone wrong, Clippers are staring at missing out on a playoff spot which makes veterans like Jordan expendable. The best solution for Los Angeles is to tear down the roster and trade valuable assets like Milos Teodosic, Danilo Gallinari and Griffin to commence the rebuild just like Chicago Bulls. The Bulls retooling version didn’t work forcing management to trade Jimmy Butler and drop the contracts of Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo.
In exchange for Butler, Bulls got Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine. Dunn looks like the Point Guard of the franchise’s future, Markkanen is the fastest player to score 100 three point shots in history and LaVine looks good to pick up where he left off prior to his injury. Should Clippers trade Jordan to Houston, the All Star status of the Center will fetch a juicy haul. The Rockets have nice pieces to make the move possible but the trade is less likely to happen because of these reasons:
The presence of the Swiss born Center of Angolan descent makes the prospective presence of Jordan redundant on the Western Conference contender. Basically Capela is the Rockets version of Jordan. Both players stand 6 foot 11 inches and have the same player profile rooted in finishing off moves around the rim, gobbling rebounds and blocking a ton of shots. While Jordan’s hulking physique standouts against Capela’s slight but equally strong frame, there is little to choose between both Centers.
The numbers support this assertion as Jordan has 11.8 points, 14.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks; Capela has 14.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks this season. Had Capela been three years younger, this would have been an ideal trade just like it was during Dwight Howard’s time with the team. Capela understudied the three time Defensive Player of the Year for three seasons before taking up the reins in the starting unit.
Money and age
Jordan hits 30 this year and possibly, free agency as he plays out the final months of his three year deal with a player option in the fourth year. Should he be traded to Houston, the team will be under pressure to pick up the $24million bill. For players who rely heavily on their athleticism to thrive in the league like Jordan, turning 30 before a potential big money move is far from ideal. Houston’s main concern for next season is tying down Chris Paul which is bound to cost the side a lot of money.
As such, paying Jordan over $20 million will be difficult to keep Houston outside the luxury tax. On the other hand, Capela is 23 years and is set to earn $3 million next season. With a talented young player on the roster on a cheap contract, Houston has little reason to trade for DeAndre Jordan.
Closely linked to the first point, Jordan’s style doesn’t fit in Houston’s free flowing system which prioritizes three point shooting. While Capela is no deep shooter, his range is wider than Jordan and his young age makes it easy for Houston coaches to build his form. The changing phase of the game means smaller guys are suiting up in the frontcourt which makes it difficult for big men like Jordan to guard them.
Capela is fast enough to hang with such players and Houston has players of such ilk to snuff out opponents like PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah Moute as back ups. With a main option and contingency options available, the two time NBA Champions have no need for Jordan
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter