5:25pm: D’Antoni is still expected to be the team’s head coach, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Stein adds that Houston interviewed Memphis’ Jeff Bzdelik today, in addition to Silas and Kalamian, and the scribe reports that Houston is eyeing all three as candidates to serve as an associate head coach if D’Antonio is hired (Twitter links).
4:48pm: Raptors assistant coach Rex Kalamian also interviewed with the team today regarding its head coaching vacancy, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.
11:27am: The Rockets are bringing in Hornets assistant coach Stephen Silas for a second interview today, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. Silas, who made a strong impression on team officials during his first sit-down, will meet with team owner Leslie Alexander and GM Daryl Morey, the scribe adds. The 43-year-old is the son of longtime NBA coach Paul Silas. He has served as an assistant for the Hornets, Pelicans (prior to the team being re-named), Warriors and Cavaliers, as well as serving a brief stint as an advance scout for the Wizards.
Sixers associate head coach Mike D’Antoni has reportedly emerged as the frontrunner for Houston’s vacant post, and the Rockets may also be exploring the possibility of hiring Silas as D’Antoni’s top assistant, Wojnarowski posits. Due to concerns over D’Antoni’s lack of defensive focus, the franchise is reportedly entertaining the idea of bringing in a strong defensive-minded assistant to aid in that department. D’Antoni has met with representatives from the organization twice, including a sit-down with Alexander. The 65-year-old has an overall record of 455-426 in the regular season as a head coach and was named as the 2004/05 Coach of the Year.
The Rockets have also met with former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek, who is reportedly close to joining the Knicks, former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, Clippers assistant Sam Cassell and Rockets assistant Chris Finch. Former Pacers coach Frank Vogel and Spurs assistant Ettore Messina are also part of the process, with Messina having interviewed with the team last Saturday. Former interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff and former Rockets guard Kenny Smith were also interviewed, but Bickerstaff withdrew from consideration and Smith was told he was no longer a candidate as the Rockets decided to focus on coaches with either head coaching experience or extensive experience as an assistant. Jeff Van Gundy was also mentioned as a candidate, but he and the team never formally spoke about the post.