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(ESPN Insider Article) Clint Capela could be steal of 2014 draft

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Horry33, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Horry33

    Horry33 Contributing Member

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    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2014/story/_/id/11138500/clint-capela-steal-2014-draft-nba-draft

    Clint Capela isn't your average sleeper.

    Capela stands 6-foot-11 with a 7-4 1/2 wingspan and a leaping ability that makes him a regular presence around the rim at both ends of the floor. He seems engineered to be a scout's fancy, and yet, folks around the league are generally cool to the Swiss big man's game.

    Still, while Capela is expected to be picked somewhere in the second half of the first round of tonight's NBA draft -- long after many fans will have turned off their TV sets -- his stellar production in France, playing for Elan Chalon at just 19 years old, is impossible to ignore.

    My WARP projections have Capela as the No. 2 prospect in this year's field. Could he end up being the steal of the draft? I think so.

    Here's why you should be happy if your favorite team ends up with Capela.

    Three elite skills

    Three things stand out from looking at Capela's translated statistics, which are based on his performance in the French Pro A League and the EuroCup international competition and adjusted to its NBA equivalents:

    • 2-point percentage: Capela shot 63.8 percent against French competition, third best among players with at least 100 shot attempts. He was even better, at 71.8 percent, in 10 EuroCup games.

    • Rebound percentage: Capela pulled down better than one in four available defensive rebounds in Pro A competition (26.4 percent). When factoring in the difficulty of rebounding on the offensive end, Capela was even better on the other side of the floor, securing 14.6 percent of teammates' misses. His combined rebound rate ranked fourth in the league.

    • Block percentage: Capela rejected 7.5 percent of French opponents' 2-point attempts. His pace-adjusted rate of 2.6 blocks per 40 minutes was best among Pro A players.

    Level of competition

    Based on how players from French teams have performed in the EuroCup and Euroleague continental competitions, and the established conversion rates between EuroCup/Euroleague and NBA performance, the typical player performs about 30 percent worse on average in the NBA.

    Other players who have gone back and forth from the NBA to the French Pro A League offer some context for Capela's stats. Alexis Ajinca played in both leagues last season, starting the year with Strasbourg in France before signing with the New Orleans Pelicans in December. The 7-2 center put up similar block and rebound numbers, but he did not shoot as high a percentage from the field as Capela. He averaged 17 minutes per game in the NBA, starting 30 games for the Pelicans, and posted a 14.6 PER.

    Last season, the Utah Jazz acquired Rudy Gobert on draft night as the 27th pick. Gobert, who is 7-1 with a 7-8 1/2 wingspan (the longest ever measured at the NBA draft combine), blocked shots at a nearly identical rate to Capela. He was less effective on the glass, but shot 73.6 percent from the field in more limited attempts. Overall, Capela rated as the more effective player on a per-minute basis, and he's a year younger than Gobert was when he entered the draft. Considered a project, Gobert played 434 minutes as a rookie with reasonable effectiveness (his PER was 12.9).

    Capela has also teamed with two NBA veterans. Last season, when Capela played only briefly for Elan Chalon, former No. 5 overall pick Shelden Williams started at center. Williams, a year removed from starting 35 games for the New Jersey Nets, was less effective across the board than Capela was this season. With Williams moving on, Elan Chaon paired Capela with Jon Brockman, a rebounding specialist who played three years in the NBA as a second-round pick. Brockman was Capela's superior on the glass, leading the Pro A in rebound percentage, but he averaged just 11.9 points per 36 minutes as compared to Capela's 15.4.

    Serious potential

    OK, so we've established Capela has been better in France than some NBA journeymen and first-round picks. If that sounds unimpressive, consider his youth. Few big men are capable of playing regularly in the NBA at age 20, and fewer still excel in the categories that Capela's translated statistics indicate will be strengths.

    After conversion, Capela's translated 2013-14 performance features 54.0 percent 2-point shooting, a 16.1 percent rebound rate and a 3.7 percent block rate. Check out the NBA big men who have cleared similar bars (52 percent shooting, 15 percent rebound rate and 3 percent block rate) before age 21:

    Comparisons for Clint Capela
    Player Team Year Age 2P% Reb% Blk%
    Andris Biedrins GSW 2006 20.1 .638 .160 .034
    Andrew Bynum LAL 2008 20.5 .636 .193 .051
    Tyson Chandler CHI 2003 20.6 .531 .155 .042
    Anthony Davis NOH 2013 20.1 .521 .170 .051
    Andre Drummond DET 2014 20.7 .625 .226 .040
    Dwight Howard ORL 2006 20.4 .532 .206 .030
    Serge Ibaka OKC 2010 20.6 .543 .171 .055
    Al Jefferson BOS 2005 20.3 .533 .172 .039
    Amir Johnson DET 2008 21.0 .558 .183 .084
    DeAndre Jordan LAC 2009 20.7 .633 .180 .057
    Jonas Valanciunas TOR 2013 21.0 .557 .150 .042

    This list doesn't indicate that Capela will be a star like Dwight Howard or Anthony Davis. The best of the players ranked above were either more skilled or stronger than Capela, who has a tendency to get pushed around in the post and needs to fill out his frame. A poor outside shooter, Capela is also unlikely to develop into a perimeter threat like Ibaka.

    However, every single player on this list ultimately developed into a quality starter. Amir Johnson is now a linchpin for the Toronto Raptors, and while it's easy to forget, Andris Biedrins was once one of the league's most promising young big men. Capela's core skills should make him a quality contributor -- and perhaps something more, as he improves his body and his understanding of the game.

    Usually, getting a prospect such as Capela requires a lottery pick. Of the 11 players in the group listed, eight went in the top 15 picks. But because Capela struggled in front of NBA scouts at the Nike Hoop Summit in April, and has performed poorly in workouts, his stock -- once lottery-worthy -- has slipped down the first round. Chad Ford dropped Capela to 27th on his final big board, noting that Capela is unlikely to go before pick 20 (Ford also has Capela 27th in his final mock).

    As the first round proceeds into the 20s, keep an eye on when Capela's name is called. The team that selects him might just be getting a top-10 talent at a discount.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. CometsWin

    CometsWin Listening to Tupac Westsiiiiide
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    Just about everyone could be the steal of the draft. Pfft.
     
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  3. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    Haha. Good one.
     
  4. Raven

    Raven Member

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    Let's hope he excites enough to draw interest around the league.
     
  5. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption 대한민국, 화이팅!
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    Can we trade him for LeBron?
     
  6. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Contributing Member

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    Malick badiane agrees.
     
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  7. prs325

    prs325 Member

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    Reminds me Samuel Dalemnert
     
  8. Horry33

    Horry33 Contributing Member

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    Geez what a bunch haters. I shouldn't have bothered sharing I guess
     
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  9. ZJP3

    ZJP3 Member

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    This got me excited at least. So thank you sir
     
  10. FoOLiSh_AzN

    FoOLiSh_AzN Member

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    I hope Clint Capela does end up being a steal...also watch out for whoever Spurs pick, they always find talent no matter when they pick.
     
  11. Someguy1229

    Someguy1229 Member

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    He compares his game to Ibaka's. Interesting.
     
  12. desi tmac91

    desi tmac91 Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I already liked Capela but now I like him a lot more.
     
  13. TheRealAllpro

    TheRealAllpro Member
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    He is the player I wanted b4 the draft. Didn't think it was possible to get him. I'm excited.
     
  14. josephnicks

    josephnicks Member

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    i feel like we hear that every year..
     
  15. Jacinto

    Jacinto Member

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    Some fans only care about the BIG MOVES. They are called jerks.
     
  16. PhatPharaoh

    PhatPharaoh Member

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    great pick for us. will be a solid backup I believe after a few years of seasoning abroad.
     
  17. Karolik

    Karolik Member

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    ...in like 4 years..

    :(
     
  18. mzsajjad

    mzsajjad Member

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    there really wasn't a position on our roster that needed help from anyone left on the board ... so this was a just a cast away pick ... wish they figured out how to package it with Lin to dump salary and make room ...
     
  19. xtruroyaltyx

    xtruroyaltyx Member

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    Sounds like a really good pick.
     
  20. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    Really?

    Morris? Patterson? DMo? Brooks? Green? Who among those were considered "steal of the draft"?
     
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