The ever-present Woj has shared that the Houston Rockets are trading center Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks in a four-team trade.

This solidly follows up on the rumors that Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has been looking to get Capela’s contract off the books to avoid getting hit by the luxury tax.

With Houston sitting just over the luxury tax, trading for Capela’s $14.89 million-dollar contract for Covington’s $11.3 million-dollar salary puts them back in the safe zone.

But does this make Houston a better team? From a production perspective, here’s how the two compare:

Clint Capela vs. Robert Covington

Points: 13.9 vs. 12.8

Rebounds: 13.8 vs. 6

Assists: 1.2 vs. 1.2

Steals: 0.8 vs 1.7

Blocks: 1.8 vs 0.9

In terms of raw numbers, the Rockets are getting a marginally worse scorer, and trading additional steals for blocks.

However, they are losing out on a whopping 7.8 rebounds per game, which you could also attribute to the difference between Capela being a post-focused player while Covington operates as a small forward and power forward.

The Rockets do gain someone who can make the occasional three, but his 34.6% shooting clip on 6.5 three-point shots per game doesn’t exactly make the Rockets a deadlier lineup.

Delving into some advanced analytics, the Rockets are losing out on a player that has contributed quite solidly to their cause. Capela contributes a 5-win share (WS) rating and 1.6 box plus/minus rating (BPM) compared to Covington’s 2.6 WS and 0.7 BPM.

Capela also has a better PER rating of 20.7 against 13.7 for Covington.

Yes, Houston may be running more small-ball lineups, which may have made Capela expendable, but they certainly could have done much better. It looks like a straight salary dump from a money-conscious owner.

Even with Capela on the books, the Rockets’ luxury bill wouldn’t have been so high, compared to teams like the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors.

It’s a curious move for a team that should be trying to maximize James Harden’s prime, and Russell Westbrook’s newly efficient play. Money gets saved, but the Rockets could and should have gotten someone better.

While Covington may be able to perform better than Danual House, the Rockets did not get commensurate value for a talented center who is only 25 years old and has produced multiple 20-point and 20-rebound double doubles this season.

You’ve got to feel for Capela, too. He’s going from a contender to a rebuilding team. However, it might work out for him in the end, since he will be playing with the talented Trae Young, who is on track to become one of the NBA’s elite point guards.