- The Houston Rockets coaching search continues.
- Houston already met with Stephen Silas and Wes Unseld Jr. last week.
- Betting favorite Tyronn Lue will meet with the Rockets on Sunday.
The Houston Rockets coaching search continues. In fact it seems to be heating up with the Rockets already meeting with several candidates and scheduled to interview at least two more this week.
Next to audition will be Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue and Minnesota Timberwolves assistant head coach David Vanterpool. Lue is the betting favorite to land the Rockets’ head coaching gig at +300 at BetOnline. But with Lue also among the favorites in the other head coaching vacancies around the league, the Rockets are keeping their options open by interviewing as many candidates as possible.
Interviewing Sons of Former NBA Legends
Houston is starting to receive permission to interview assistants for vacant head coaching job, including Denver’s Wes Unseld Jr., and Dallas’ Stephen Silas, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 30, 2020
Last week, the Rockets received permission to interview a pair of assistant coaches in Stephen Silas of the Dallas Mavericks and Wes Unseld Jr. of the Denver Nuggets.
Silas is the son of former NBA great Paul Silas and he has worked as an assistant coach with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, and now with the Mavs. He was reportedly Daryl Morey’s second choice before the Rockets hired Mike D’Antoni in 2016.
Unseld Jr. is also a son of a former NBA legend. The younger Unseld also has never been a head coach but has extensive experience as assistant for the Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic, and now the Nuggets. Unseld is known for his work ethic and ability to develop talent.
The Rockets were also slated to interview Doc Rivers after the former champion coach parted way with the L.A. Clippers last week. However, the Philadelphia 76ers beat everyone to the gun by immediately signing the former Clippers head coach to a five year deal.
Very Busy Tyronn Lue
Yahoo Sources: Tyronn Lue is meeting with New Orleans Pelicans this afternoon, Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday and Houston Rockets on Sunday about their head coach openings.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 2, 2020
The Rockets are also set to interview L.A. Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue who is one of the hottest coaching prospect in the market. Lue is already a favorite to replace Doc Rivers in Los Angeles but that hasn’t kept the former Lakers guard busy entertaining offers from other teams.
According to a report from Yahoo Sports, Lue traveled to Philadelphia for a meeting with the Sixers last Tuesday and then met with the New Orleans Pelicans last Friday. He traveled back to Los Angeles to talk to the Clippers on Sunday and is expected to meet with Houston on Sunday.
Lue was the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers when the Cavs won the NBA title in 2016. He has an NBA career coaching record of 128-83 or .607 and has an impressive 41-20 mark in the postseason. Aside from the Cavs, Lue also worked as an assistant for the Boston Celtics.
A Tough Coaching Assignment
The Houston Rockets vacancy is a tough coaching assignment. Sure, they have two superstars in James Harden and Russell Westbrook but these are two players who don’t compliment each other. Harden and Westbrook play better with the ball in their hands. However, there is only one basketball in every game.
D’Antoni also left behind one of the shortest lineups in the league after the team committed to small ball basketball this season. The Rockets traded away center Clint Capela and they don’t have a legitimate center in their roster. With how the Lakers are currently dominating the Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals with their size, the Rockets have to modify their roster.
Houston’s 2021 payroll includes paying $100M to three guards in Harden, Westbrook, and Eric Gordon. They still have their exceptions but won’t be able to add an elite big man with that money. Trading one of their guards could be an option, but will there be any takers for Westbrook or Gordon? The Rockets can’t add via the draft because they traded three first round picks to put together this year’s roster.