The Rockets have been granted permission to interview Sixers assistant coach Sam Cassell for their head coaching vacancy, a person with knowledge of the situation tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscriber link).
The Rockets and Cassell are still working on scheduling the interview, according to Feigen. Houston began its search for a new lead coach this week after declining to pick up its option on the fourth year of Stephen Silas‘ contract.
A former NBA player, Cassell was a one-time All-Star point guard and won three championships — including two with Houston — during his 16-year career (he was technically still active in 2008/09, though he didn’t appear in a game). He spent his first three seasons with the Rockets from 1993-96.
This is Cassell’s 14th season as an assistant coach and third with Philadelphia, having made previous stops with the Wizards and Clippers. He has worked under Doc Rivers for the past nine years.
The Rockets reportedly intend to look at about eight or nine candidates for the job, and many of them have already been identified. Cassell was not previously mentioned.
Feigen reports that the Rockets don’t plan to hire anyone before they interview all of the targets on their initial list. He writes that list could expand should other candidates become available — Raptors coach Nick Nurse has been mentioned multiple times as a possible target.
Former Lakers coach Frank Vogel has already interviewed for the job, and so has former Celtics coach Ime Udoka, per Feigen. The Rockets have also been granted permission to interview Suns assistant Kevin Young, Feigen adds — it was previously reported that they were still trying to secure permission.