Having met with Rockets ownership and management on Monday, Tyronn Lue is gaining momentum as a candidate to replace Mike D’Antoni in Houston, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon report.
As Wojnarowski and MacMahon explain, the Rockets may look to offer Lue a contract before his other suitors – including the Clippers – complete their respective coaching searches. However, Houston isn’t expected to make a move on Lue before meeting with Jeff Van Gundy on Wednesday, since JVG also remains a strong candidate for the position.
According to ESPN, Lue – who was identified as an early frontrunner to replace Doc Rivers in Los Angeles – has support from “prominent players” on both the Rockets’ and Clippers’ rosters. Presumably, that’s a reference to some combination of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George.
Still, it remains to be seen whether Lue will ultimately be the top choice for both teams. Van Gundy figures to be a “prominent” factor in the Rockets’ and Clippers’ searches as well, according to Wojnarowski and MacMahon, who say that JVG is well regarded by Rockets ownership and management and likes the idea of coaching in his “adopted home city” of Houston. Previous reports linked Van Gundy to the Clippers’ vacancy too, though it’s not clear if L.A. has scheduled an interview with him yet.
Lue is also believed to be a top candidate for the Pelicans’ head coaching job.