Rockets Rumors: Lucas, Powell, Landale, VanVleet

Longtime Rockets assistant John Lucas won’t be part of Ime Udoka’s staff but he’ll remain in the organization, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. He’ll move to a front office role, working as an assistant to GM Rafael Stone.

Lucas, a former Cavaliers, Spurs and Sixers head coach, joined Mike D’Antoni’s staff in Houston during the 2016/17 season and has been with the franchise since then.

We have more on the Rockets:

  • Houston’s first-year offer to Mavericks free agent Dwight Powell was higher than the $8MM Jock Landale will receive next season as part of his four-year, $32MM contract agreement with Houston, Marc Stein reports in a Substack post. Powell decided to take the Mavs’ three-year offer, even though it totaled only $12MM. Only the first year of Landale’s contract is guaranteed — it’s probably safe to assume the same was true of the offer for Powell.
  • Speaking of Landale, he knows he has to show the Rockets he’s worthy of getting the full value to his contract, he told ESPN’s Olgun Uluc. “I felt as though I’d worked my way to when I played and when I played heavy minutes, I always produced,” Landale said. “If I can get the trust of a coach who has the front office behind me, and they’re all supportive of the decision, absolutely I believe I can play to that contract. I also feel that, given it’s non-guaranteed, there’s no ability for me to take my foot off the gas, and I feel that’s really important and plays into my character a bit. I’ve still got to earn everything.”
  • While they paid an extremely high price financially, the Rockets finally have a much-needed stabilizing presence, leader and offensive connector in Fred VanVleet, Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes. Houston’s offense lacked cohesion and control in recent seasons and VanVleet’s presence should change that.
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