Could Clint Capela be a possibility if the Pelicans trade back into the NBA Draft? Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft Profiles: Clint Capela

With news that the Pelicans are looking to trade into the NBA Draft coming this weekend to grab a small forward or center plenty of questions have been raised about the plan of the front office. Out of all of them though the most important seems to be which player, or players, have caught the eye of the front office enough to cause them to try to work themselves back into a pick. Instead of trying to guess exactly the player, Pelican Debrief has decided to just break down 18 small forwards and centers leading up to draft day (two reports will be posted daily) so that Pelicans fans will be ready no matter where or when the team trades into the draft and selects a player. 

Seemingly every year an international big man prospect enters the NBA Draft that captivates people with his athletic gifts and length but lacking in actual basketball skills and knowledge. How that prospect turns out varies from a great player like Serge Ibaka to a giant question mark who probably isn’t very good in Bismack Biyombo. This year that prospect comes is a 20-year-old from Switzerland named Clint Capela, who could potentially be an intriguing partner for Anthony Davis going forward.

The Basics: 

Age: 20

College: N/A

Height: 6’11”

Weight: 222 lbs

Wingspan: 7’4.5”

Standing Reach: 9′ 2.5”

Max Vertical: N/A

Stats (French League): 32 games, 22 mpg, 9.4 ppg, 63.2 FG%, 58.2 FT%, 6.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.8 spg, 1.5 bpg.

NBA Draft Projections: Mid to late first round.

Strengths: 

Anyone drafting Capela isn’t drafting him for the things that he does well right now, but instead for the massive upside that he has. Capela is extremely athletic and he compliment his athleticism with some fantastic measurements. At 6’11 Capela seems likely to be a power forward in the NBA but thanks to his massive wingspan and giant hands he seems likely to be able to play center for a few minutes a night in certain situations (like maybe next to Anthony Davis).

As his rebounding and field goal percentage show Capela understands what his gifts are at this point and plays to his strengths. This season he was one of the best rebounders and shot blockers in the French professional league that he played in despite being one of the youngest players in the league. Typically rebounding and shot blocking are traits that translate from league to league and level to level so at the very least there is a hope that Capela can provide help off the bench for a team even without scoring.

Weaknesses: 

Capela looked completely out-of-place at times at the Nike Hoop Summit where he competed with players who had much more experience playing the game. That is the big question with Capela. Can he learn the game at the highest level quick enough to be valuable?

Capela has also had attitude issues in the past, not exactly a good sign for a young raw player. Some of that can be explained by the fact that Capela is so young and already playing professionally though. The hope would be that with age comes maturity for him and that the attitude issues go away soon.

Finally, as expected with a player considered raw, Capela’s offensive game is still very basic. He is good at jumping and finishing and has flashed a bit of a jumper at points which is what has brought the comparisons to Ibaka to the forefront. Obviously if Capela can block shots, rebound and knock down jumpers going forward he has a chance to become a huge difference maker for any team.

Projected Role: At best Capela would essentially be Serge Ibaka. The worry though is he never develops into anything other than Biyombo, a hustle big man who struggles to be effective over heavy minutes. In reality any team drafting Capela isn’t taking him for next year where he will probably sit for most the year.

Information for this report was found at DraftExpress. To check out Capela’s DX scouting report go here. 

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Tags: New Orleans Pelicans

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