By now, everyone knows the Houston Rockets did not pick up the fourth year on Stephen Silas' contract. This gave the Rockets a head start on bringing in possible head coach replacements. The Rockets have taken full advantage of this, as they have interviewed several coaches so far and plan on interviewing a few more before the process is complete.
They requested permission to speak with former Nets head coach and current Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson. Atkinson coached the Brooklyn Nets from 2016-2020
A familiar face was a surprise addition to the list, as the Rockets were granted permission to interview Sam Cassell. Most Rockets fans will know Cassell from his time with the Rockets during the team's back-to-back championships. Cassell was drafted by the Rockets in 1993 and played a massive role in the two titles. Cassell would go on to win another ring with the Celtics.
Cassell has had a long career as an assistant coach. He has had stops in Washington and with the Clippers. He has worked with Doc Rivers for the last nine seasons with the Clippers and now the 76ers. The Rockets are still trying to work out a time to interview Cassell, as this will be Cassell's third time interviewing for the Rockets head coaching job.
They interviewed Phoenix Suns assistant Kevin Young, who has been on the Suns staff since 2017. Young has played a big part in Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker's development over the last five-plus seasons.
The Rockets also brought in a long-time assistant coach and former Rocket Adrian Griffin. Griffin previously interviewed for the Lakers head coaching job before last season. Griffin played on the 2003-04 Rockets team and spent 10 seasons in the NBA.
The Rockets have interviewed former Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego. Who coached the Charlotte Hornets from 2018-2022. Which in itself is an accomplishment. The Rockets reportedly interviewed Borrego on Monday as they continued their head coaching search.
According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the Rockets will bring in Ime Udoka, the former Boston Celtics head coach, for an interview on Wednesday.
The Houston Rockets will interview Ime Udoka for the franchise’s head coaching job on Wednesday, sources tell @TheAthletic. Udoka was suspended by the Boston Celtics prior to the 2022-23 season for violations of team policies.— Kelly Iko (@KellyIko) April 18, 2023
The Celtics suspended Udoka in September of 2022 before being let go in February for unspecified "violations of team policies. Udoka led the Celtics to the 2022 NBA Finals, where they would fall to the Warriors in six games. Udoka does not have the same resume as coaches like Vogel but comes from the Greg Popovich coaching tree.
The Rockets will not make a coaching hire until they have interviewed all their preferred candidates. It is reported that the Rockets will interview up to nine candidates, including Nick Nurse, once a decision is made on whether he will return as Raptors head coach next season.
We will keep you updated as the Rockets coaching search continues.