Rockets, Sam Cassell Have Mutual Interest

The Rockets and Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell have mutual interest in a potential partnership, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link).

Mike D’Antoni, who coached the Rockets for the past four seasons, informed the franchise earlier on Sunday that he he won’t be returning. Several figures around the league view Cassell as a strong head coaching candidate, including current Clippers coach Doc Rivers.

“Sam Cassell should be a head coach, period,” Rivers said earlier this week. “He’s got an incredibly high basketball IQ, and I just hope he gets a shot. … When they talk about paying dues, he’s paid every due that is possible and he’s yet to get a job. So, I’m hoping that happens.”

Houston will likely consider other coaches for the job, with former Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue being a second potential candidate, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. Marc Stein of the New York Times (via Twitter) also mentioned Jeff Van Gundy as a name that’s surfaced in recent coaching rumblings.

Cassell, 50, was drafted by the Rockets with the No. 24 pick in 1993. He spent the first three years of his career with the franchise, winning two titles, and went on to play 15 NBA seasons with several teams, winning another championship with the Celtics in 2008. He began his coaching career as an assistant with the Wizards from 2009-14 and has worked for the Clippers ever since.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is expected to remain with the team and will face increased pressure to build a championship roster around Russell Westbrook and James Harden. In addition to finding a new head coach, the team also has several players set to reach free agency this offseason, including Jeff Green, DeMarre Carroll and likely Austin Rivers ($2.43M player option).

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32 thoughts on “Rockets, Sam Cassell Have Mutual Interest

    • C-Daddy

      You should consider changing your account name to harden-westbrook-perennial playoff losers.

    • GoLandCrabs

      Sixers are Rockets east. Ugly playoff exits year after year with their best players being a no show.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        The Sixers can only dream of being the Rockets, the team that has made the playoffs more consecutive years than anyone in the NBA since the Spurs’ streak ended this year.

        • GoLandCrabs

          Congratulations on being able to say your team has been better than the Sixers to a bunch of non Sixer fans. This sums up the Rockets loser mentality their own GM created. Kick the football Charlie Brown! Next year will be the year for H-town. Maybe the 9th time will be the charm for Harden.

        • DeathbyDeathwest

          The 76er’s have a future, even if they trade one of their stars.

          The Rockets have a past, which with Harden doesn’t include an NBA Finals appearance.

          The Rockets can only dream of being the Sixers.

          –Not a 76er’s fan

    • imindless

      Sixers have a better chance at winning as opposed to rockets. There window closed when cp3 hammy blew out. Signing him to that albatross deal forced the deal for westbrick which in turn has to be the most Untradable contract in history of the sport.

      • Count that baby and a foul!

        Westbrook contract is NOT untradeable. If they give him away into salary cap space I am sure a team like the Pistons will gladly be a taker!

  1. dfree123

    Didn’t take long for you to change your opinion about D’Antoni!! I wonder how you feel about Harden and Westbrook now since they’ve been bounced out of the playoffs. They definitely were not MVPs of anything besides playing like garbage!

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      When did I ever say D’Antoni was that great? Think before you write.

      • imindless

        Harden westbrook mvps you said this all year and for the last 2 years. Then go silent when you team gets owned hahahahaha

      • Dodgethis

        Do you really need a list of links to prove what everyone here knows, homer?

    • goastros123

      Except they both have wo the mvp award at one point or another each, hence his account name.

  2. x%sure

    Cassell was always interesting as a player. Maybe he can figure out Westbrook and his role while tolerating Harden’s ways.

    Rivers saying he’s paid his dues… that goes for so many.

  3. Black Ace57

    If the Rockets owner was smart he would let Morey blow up the team and rebuild. They have no cap space, traded away a bunch of their picks, and Harden can leave in a year. Trade him now so you don’t get stuck in a position like the Brooklyn Nets after the Boston trade.

    Sadly, that won’t happen. They will go even more all in next year, not win anything, and then fire one of the league’s top GM’s in Morey for not pulling off the impossible.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Harden isn’t going anywhere, and his player option isn’t until 2023 anyway.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Rockets are done. Nobody in NBA who can play wants to play with Harden. One man show only works in boxing and tennis. Westbrook will want out soon. Remember I said this. Rockets are capped out. Have no significant way of upgrading team. The Harden era is a total bust. Making the playoffs don’t mean shut if you can’t get to Finals. You trash the Bucks yet still talk up this flawed team. Nothing wrong with being a HOMER. Don’t let it affect your intelligence. The only way you save this team. Is by moving Westbrook now. His value is still good.

    • Sillivan

      Only if Knicks fall in love with recent MVP
      Very rare,it happens once every 30 years
      Knicks get Westbrook
      Rockets get Randle,8th pick and Knox

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Actually not bad. Rockets had a player they really liked. It could work. Westbrook would be good for NYC. But you know me. I’m all about rebuilding and the youth. All about the draft with my Knicks

      • imindless

        No way 8th pick would be included in knicks trade. It would be randle and knox for westbrick.

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        Sillivan, I think Houston would jump at that. I know Harden wanted to play with Russ, but they don’t fit- and Houston has no path forward to improve with what they have on the ledger. Honestly, if NY wanted him, I’m not sure they’d even have to part with the 8th pick. A 2nd rounder would probably be enough. As a non-NY fan though, I’m not sure Russ makes their on-court product better? He just sells more tickets.

  5. KnickerbockerAl

    Casell won’t mesh with Harden. I can’t see him wanting that. But everyone wants to get paid. I’m sure he don’t say no to job. Rockets need an experienced coach. And good luck with that.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      I’m not sure any coach is going to be able to figure that mess out. It’s an awful job, tbh. Russ and Harden absolutely do not compliment each other at all. The ownership is cheap, and now that’s what they’re locked into.

      It’s telling though that when Harden was off the floor, the Lakers seemed more concerned with Eric Gordon than Russ. When a guy shoots as bad as Russ did, it’s just going to cripple you in the playoffs.

      If you take this coaching job, I’d say expect to be fired in 2 years with the GM when they realize this doesn’t work and start over. That ownership will probably love a cheap rebuild.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    link to
    This a good explanation of Rockets woes. A lot of it we’ve said here. Going back to letting Ariza walk. After almost taking out Warriors. I had forgotten about that. Shows owner is cheap. If they have kept Capela. They’d be much better. Russ is like Giannis not as great. In that they both run an attack. That’s their strength. In playoffs you can gear up for that. Teams are better at defending it. In playoffs if you don’t make adjustments. You will not do well, Bucks. Russ going to NY is about taking team to next level. And bring some excitement while doing it. We are not going to win. But he helps us grow and get in playoffs. He’s got three yrs on contract. We can still build a team. Especially if we move Randle. It’s a done deal to me. Randle and Portis, Knox, plus #27 pick n next yrs #1. This way we keep the 8th pick. I rather have Westbrook than Harden. We still have cap for FA next yr. Personally I rather go slow with trades n rebuild. But opportunities sometimes open up. Like Sixers and Rockets now. Even Bucks all look to do something.

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