Mike D'Antoni says Clint Capela is "as important as anybody" after finally re-signing him

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

Following weeks of drawn-out negotiations, the Houston Rockets and Clint Capela have finally come to terms on a new long-term contract extension.

The center has signed a five-year deal worth up to $90 million to remain with the franchise.

Capela is fresh off a terrific season where he posted career-high numbers across the board.

He averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 65.2 percent from the field.

The 24-year-old played a major role in helping the Rockets secure a franchise-record 67 wins in the regular season and a place in the Western Conference Finals.

He was the team's defensive anchor and is a crucial member of the team.

Importance

It was a priority for Houston to tie the Swiss down and this news pleased head coach Mike D'Antoni more than most.

“I talked to him yesterday. Really happy for him," D'Antoni said, per Marc Berman of Fox 26.

"What he did and where he was. I said just remember three years ago you were at Rio Grande sitting on the bench and couldn’t make a foul shot.

"He’s gotten to the point where he’s one of the best centers if not the best in the league. He’s signed up for five years. It changed his life and it changed our, the Houston franchise’s, life.”

Capela has made great strides over his four years with the Rockets and has developed into one of the most reliable big men in the league.

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

He was selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2014 draft and has proven to be a steal for the Texas-based outfit.

D'Antoni explained just how significant it was for them to retain the services of Capela this summer.

“I mean as important as anybody," he said. "You have to have a lot of pieces and I get it. Gerald Green is really important to what we do.

"Every piece is really, really important. Some guys have bigger roles like James, Chris, and Eric and those guys, but Clint’s role is just as vital as anybody.”

Of course, MVP James Harden and Chris Paul are the most important players on the roster but Capela is not too far behind.

The Rockets had an impressive record when the trio were on the court together last season which makes them a legitimate big three in the league.

With that core now signed up to play together for several years, Houston will continue to contend and be among the best teams in the west.

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