The Houston Rockets are declining to pick up the fourth-year option on coach Stephen Silas’ contract, ending his three-year run leading the franchise’s rebuild, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/aJqxY91d31— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 9, 2023
When Silas was first hired, he was under the assumption that he would be coaching two future Hall of Famers and a veteran lead team. With the departure of Russell Westbrook and, eventually, James Harden, that all changed as the Rockets leaned into a full-scale rebuild.
The Rockets are heading into their most crucial off-season in years with the upcoming draft lottery and free agency as they are looking to move to the next rebuild stage, which is becoming a competitive team.
Rafael Stone press conference
Rafael Stone spoke about what he expects in the next head coach.
“I think we want someone who has a real vision on how to implement our young guys”.
Of course, one of the fans and some media criticisms about Silas was the perceived lack of development of the Rockets young players. However, the Rockets had one of the youngest teams in the NBA, and Stone is looking for someone to guide the young players from rebuilding to contending.
“I think there are some really talented people who are available right now.” Stone also said that the team will look to move forward on their coaching search. “There is no value in waiting. We’re going to start the process right away”
Rafael Stone spoke with the media today about Coach Silas and the Rockets future. Stone spoke on what led to the decision not to pick up the fourth-year option.
“I think we thought it was time for a new voice.” Stone also said it had nothing to do with Silas and that “working with Stephen has been amazing.”
The Rockets haven't decided who from Stephen Silas's staff will be with the Rockets for the 2023-24 season. Stone said it would be up to the next head coach, and he will make that decision.
Stone also answered if where they fall in the draft will change any of their offseason plans.
”We do plan to bring in veterans no matter what. We don’t have to draft both of the picks”
Stone was also asked if he would consider trading a top three pick.
“I would consider trading anything.”
That would lead you to believe that the Rockets are open to possibly trading a top-three pick. Even though you have to imagine if they land the number one pick, chances of them trading that pick or slim to none.
Stone responded to questions about issues inside the locker room and the team's culture.
“I am willing to fight with anyone who will say that our culture, on this team, this year was challenged. It’s been if not the best team I’ve ever been around, certainly one of the top two or three, and I’ve been in the NBA since 2005.”
Stone also called the media critiques of the Rockets "lazy" and spoke more about the Rockets culture.
“We have a really good culture. We have not managed to turn that culture into wins at this point in time, but culture I would put our team up there with anyone in the NBA. We work really hard. People are very supportive of each other, they get a long very well.”
Stone wanted to make it a point that there weren't any issues in the locker room and that the responses were false. The Rockets have dealt with rumors all season that there were issues in the locker room among players and coaches.
The Houston Rockets and Rafael Stone have a lot of important decisions left when it comes to the direction of the team. From hiring a new head coach to the draft and, of course, free agency. The Rockets are ready to move into the second stage of their rebuild, and that starts with bringing in the right person who can take the Rockets from the basement back to penthouse.