The Rockets aren’t wasting any time seeking out a replacement for former head coach Stephen Silas, whose team option for 2023/24 was declined on Monday.
Houston has sought and received permission to interview Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), and was also granted permission to meet with Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required).
In addition to Atkinson and Griffin, the Rockets are securing permission to interview Suns associate head coach Kevin Young, Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter).
Houston is also in the process of scheduling meetings with former NBA head coaches Ime Udoka, Frank Vogel, and James Borrego, with Raptors coach Nick Nurse expected to be another top target if he becomes available, says Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).
Multiple reports have indicated that the Rockets are expected to meet with about eight or nine candidates as they look to replace Silas. Not counting Nurse, the team’s list of interviewees is already at six names. Trail Blazers assistant Scott Brooks was previously identified as a candidate too, though there’s no word yet on the club lining up a meeting with him.
There has been speculation that the Rockets will look for a more experienced candidate during their latest head coaching search, but not all of their candidates fit that bill. While Atkinson, Udoka, Vogel, and Borrego have previously served as head coaches, Griffin and Young would be first-timers.
It’s worth noting that Atkinson tentatively accepted the Hornets’ head coaching position a year ago before backing out of that agreement and staying in Golden State. If he emerges as the Rockets’ top target, the team would obviously look to avoid a repeat of that situation. Additionally, Houston will have to do plenty of background work on Udoka, whose Celtics exit was related to an extramarital affair he had with a member of the organization.
Feigen previously reported that the Rockets would likely begin conducting interviews before the end of this week.