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Rockets take PF Capela in NBA draft

AP - Sports

HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Rockets added a prospect Thursday night and then turned around and added a guard. Both moves could be seen as a way to help Houston in free agency.

Houston picked power forward Clint Capela with the 25th overall pick of the NBA draft and added Arizona junior guard Nick Johnson at No. 42 in the second round.

The 6-foot-10 Capela averaged 9.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last year playing for Elan Chalon in France. But the 20-year-old Capela is expected to remain overseas next season, which should help the Rockets save some money as they try to clear cap room to make a run at LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony in free agency.

Houston has already dealt back-up center Omer Asik and cash considerations to New Orleans for a protected future first round pick, The Associated Press reported earlier this week. And the Rockets could be looking to trade point guard Jeremy Lin to free up cap space.

Johnson was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year last season after averaging 16.3 points and 4.1 rebounds to lead Arizona to the Elite Eight after the Wildcats won the Pac-12 title.

In three seasons at Arizona, Johnson scored over 1,300 points and shot over 42 percent from the floor. He shot nearly 37 percent from behind the arc last season.

Johnson's uncle was the late Dennis Johnson, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame after playing 14 seasons in the NBA.

The Rockets added Dwight Howard a year ago, but were ousted in the first round of the playoffs for a second straight season.

Howard had a solid first season in Houston, averaging 18.3 points, and was fourth in the NBA with 12.2 rebounds a game.

James Harden embraced a bigger leadership role in his second season in Houston and again led the team in scoring.

The Rockets got an up-and-down season from Lin, who lost his starting job to Patrick Beverley. His inconsistent play continued in the postseason. He had four points and three turnovers in Houston's Game 4 loss to Portland before coming off the bench to score 21 points and spark the Rockets to a win in Game 5 with Beverley battling an illness.

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