Southwest Notes: Rockets, Spurs, Joerger, Mavs

The Rockets‘ coaching search continues, and the team is focused on candidates that have former head coaching experience, or have significant experience as assistants, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

Feigen hears that while TNT analyst Kenny Smith impressed the Rockets in his interview, he’s not in the running for the position. Frank Vogel and Ettore Messina are believed to still be in the mix, with a source telling Feigen they’re “part of [the] process,” but there has been no confirmation that they’ve had formal interviews. Houston could conduct second interviews with candidates by the end of the week, says Feigen.

Meanwhile, Jeff Van Gundy has received interest from the Rockets as well, a source tells Feigen. Still, Houston has not yet met with JVG as the team takes its time to familiarize itself with other candidates.

Here’s more from across the Southwest:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge and David West, who could have played – and potentially been paid more – elsewhere this past season, said in the wake of San Antonio’s season-ending loss that they had no regrets about joining the Spurs, as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News details. Aldridge remains under contract with the Spurs for several more years, while West will have to make a decision on his player option next month.
  • Former Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger – who is now the coach in Sacramento – spoke to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal about the end of his tenure in Memphis, insisting that his relationship with team management was “excellent.” “I wanted to prove to them that I was the guy to go forward for many years. They didn’t feel so,” Joerger said. “But we move on with a lot of fond memories.”
  • The Grizzlies brought in Northern Iowa guard Wes Washpun to participate in a group workout on Monday, per Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops (Twitter link). Washpun previously worked out for the Jazz and Hawks.
  • Kevin Sherrington of The Dallas Morning News doesn’t expect the Mavericks to start the rebuilding process until after Dirk Nowitzki decides to retire, which may still be a couple years away.
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