Texas Notes: Rockets, Porzingis, Houston Coaching Search

Following a disappointing second-round playoff exit and the departure of coach Mike D’Antoni, the Rockets are faced with some serious questions about their future this offseason. Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report spoke with rival NBA executives about Houston’s offseason options. Significant makeover suggestions include trades of All-Star guards James Harden or Russell Westbrook, both 31.

“Everything should be on the table, including moving Harden,” an Eastern Conference executive told Pincus.

“The Knicks might be one of the only teams that could be a fit for Westbrook,” a different Eastern Conference executive said. “Not sure if there are any others.”

The Rockets could absorb several of New York’s expiring veteran contracts in a deal.

Sam Cassell, Alvin Gentry, Kenny Atkinson, Chris Finch, Ime Udoka, David Vanterpool and even former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy have been floated as possibilities for the team’s new head coach.

There are more NBA notes out of the Lone Star State:

  • Former Mavericks team doctor T.O. Souryal is fairly optimistic about the long-term health of star big man Kristaps Porzingis, per Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. “[Porzingis] seems to have come back from his ACL [tear] stronger than ever, so that injury’s behind us now,” Souryal opined. “Each one of these injuries should be taken on its own merit.”
  • The Rockets‘ far-ranging search for a new head coach, conducted by GM Daryl Morey, is examined by Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Iko specifically unpacks the resumes of current Pelicans assistant Chris Finch and former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.
  • As we previously relayed, a pair of Texas teams are reportedly in the running for the services of veteran Real Madrid point guard Facundo Campazzo. The Spurs and Mavericks will be competing with the Timberwolves to add the 2017 EuroCup Defensive Player of the Year.
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22 thoughts on “Texas Notes: Rockets, Porzingis, Houston Coaching Search

  1. LordBanana

    Rockets are on life support, time to teardown before it’s too late

    • Sillivan

      Westbrook is only tradable for overpaid contracts
      It makes no sense to trade westbrook
      Harden trade value will decrease year after year

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        They’re not trading anyone, especially Harden. LA will trade LeBron long before Houston trades The Beard.

        • BloodySox

          Good. Let them soak in mediocrity. If they want to win anything in the next 15 years, they’d be wise to break it down.

          • arc89

            The problem is Morley lets harden run the team. They will only get worse not better because of over the salary cap and no good young players. With how the west is shaping up their run is over even in the playoffs.

        • GoLandCrabs

          Rocket fans are more focused on the glamor and calling Harde. tbe beard then they actually are on winning.

        • KnickerbockerAl

          Nobody wants Harden. The NBA knows he’s not a winner. He doesn’t play D and only wants stats. To keep up his status. Best thing is to move Westbrook now. He still has value. Unlike most of talking heads here think. I can think of a few trades that make sense. Chemistry and team makeup. Is what Rockets need to address. No DAntoni means new philosophy. Time to bring in bigs. Today’s bigs can play inside outside. Even Embiid who is considered best C. Plays outside too. Rockets would be wise to get in on draft. There are nice rotation players in first rd. Even in top of 2nd rd. Westbrook is killing his career by playing with Harden. His agent should be working to get him out. This will only get worse. Rockets should pull the trigger now. Take advantage of the draft.

  2. Sillivan

    Without making good trades Rockets will be 5-8 seed in the regular season and be Knocked out In the first round
    If not trade Harden, they can avoid tax payment by trading Covington for TPE or trading Gordon with 2023 first swap and 2022 First

  3. Sillivan

    ESPN insider Brian Windhorst was talking about
    Westbrook for Blake Griffin

    Westbrook has better health
    Griffin is a better shooter

  4. WSnotAstros2017

    I would get rid of Westbrook. But too depends on who we get for coach. I think either Harden or Westbrook will be gone but who of rest might be. Talk PJ wants to stay will Gordon, Austin, Green, McLemore, dump House, De Marre Carroll do not see staying. Was lucky if used in bubble. But do feel we need someone. But doubt we will see a championship anytime soon. But again too contract with Russ probably not many suitors. But I think we have to trade one for draft picks or something. Would love to have one sports team good enough to watch next year. Astros will have work to do during off season and Texans with O”Brien at helm and ownership have been sad to watch.

  5. El Don

    A very uninspiring list of possible HC’s for HOU, the only bright one is Cassell, the rest are no comment!

  6. El Don

    I would agree with the assessment of the DAL physician, at least this season KP6 came back stronger & a much better player than he ever was in NYK, so unless somethin’ changes for him, his future in the Big D looks good!

  7. andremets

    Would Westbrook for expiring contracts be enough or would Houston demand more? Someone like Dennis Smith Jr? or a real asset? Should Westbrook actually help the Knicks or just doom us to being a 7/8 seed?

    • RenoChris

      I think the salary cap room is the real trade asset. It’s going to be hard to get even value with his contract.

  8. Sillivan

    According to John Hollinger
    Rockets have 4 NOs

    No cap space
    No picks (actually a bit)
    No young players
    No commitment to pay luxury taxes

    How to improve the roster?
    Westbrook and Gordon are overpaid
    Tucker is too old

  9. Natergater77

    Houston should tear down and a proposal I have they I know one person here won’t like can set them up to bounce back quickly.

    Cleveland gets:
    PJ Tucker
    James Harden

    Added to Sexton and Drummond they can compete in the East. Probably not Conference finals, but compete which is all their owner and fans want.

    New York gets:
    Russel Westbrook
    Kevin Love

    They finally get the big names they want. They keep Knox and both Russ and Love come off books in 3 years giving them a chance to do what the Knicks always do and that’s mess up.

    Houston gets:
    Taj Gibson
    Julius Randle
    Bobby Portis
    Dennis Smith Jr.
    RJ Barrett

    First 3 come off the books next year clearing $43mil and giving a chance to play FA market. Smith Jr. gets 1 year to show he can be who he was in DAL vs. what he has been in NY. And the team gets Barrett to start rebuild.

  10. KnickerbockerAl

    KP has not held up. He needs muscle and weight. If he wants to last. He’s got a great shot. IMO should play the middle with old school PF. Like Randolph who will take the banging. He taught Gasol how to play in NBA. But having a 4 inside lets KP roam outside. And can be a rim protector from weak side. Best way to maximize his talent. He won’t last unless he gets weight n protection. He’ll be another Bradley.

  11. Westbrook isn’t an asset, nor is he any kind of fit for the Knicks or any other rebuilding team. Knicks don’t have much in the way of bad contracts, and Houston doesn’t have much in the way of tradable draft picks, so neither of those make much of a basis for a trade either.

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