Weight: 222 pounds
Team: Elan Chalon
NBA Comparison: Serge Ibaka
Clint Capela comes into the 2014 NBA Draft as a very young player with international fanfare, similar to Giannis Antetokounmpo from last year’s draft. The upside is certainly there for the player from Switzerland, but is he worth taking in the first round of this year’s draft?
Capela has the elite athleticism associated with that of a first round pick. It allows for him to be explosive and run the fast break well, finishing strong with two hand dunks and finesse layups. He has great instinct, specifically on defense. His quickness, agility and length (9’2.5″) allow for him to smother defenders while also being a force on the boards. Capela’s defensive awareness gives him an edge over other players in the draft and has been compared to that of Serge Ibaka. His potential in the halfcourt on pick-and-roll’s is there as he’ll be able to catch pretty much any pass his way. Capela also has great hands and passing abilities for a player of his size. He has a very high motor, and when it is channeled right…Capela can be scary effective.
The 6’11” combined with Capela’s raw athleticism and potential is what makes teams salivate most. But with that height comes the need for muscle to go with it, and the 20 year-old is only 222 pounds. The comparison to Ibaka is no small accomplishment- but at 6’10”, Ibaka is a solid 245 pounds. Capela will need to pack on the pounds if he plans on being an NBA big man. While brilliant at times on defense, Capela can be simply lost on offense. His basketball IQ screams “young player”.
He has been known to post high field goal percentages (71.8% in ten Eurocup games), but still needs to have a consistent jumper. His shot decision-making at times is horrendous, as is his incredibly slow release. Capela’s free throw game is downright ugly (58% in France, 47% for the Eurocup). At times. Capela can give up on plays and get pushed around by other players- regardless of size. His effort comes in to question, and with as raw as he is, that is one area he should not slack on. Capela lacks fundamentals on both offense and defense. Capela is most definitely a project and should be drafted with the possibility of teaching him the game for a year or so. He is not going to come to a team and be ready to contribute right away.
Capela can be a good and possibly great NBA player with plenty of work to be done. The problems he faces (motivation, lack of big-time experience and fundamentals) is something that can be fixed, especially with how young Clint Capela is. I look for him to be drafted in the latter half of the first round between 18 and 27.
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