Mark Berman: NBA sources: #Rockets process to find their next coach includes @Denver Nuggets ass’t Wes Unseld Jr,who has interviewed.Rockets also met with @Dallas Mavericks ass’t Stephen Silas, @Minnesota Timberwolves assoc HC David Vanterpool & sources confirm former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson has also interviewed
Alykhan Bijani: Kenny Atkinson interviewed for the Houston #Rockets head coach position this week, league sources tell me and @Kelly Iko
Marc Stein: Tyronn Lue has completed sitdowns with the Clippers and the Pelicans about their coaching openings ... and Lue's interview for the Rockets' coaching vacancy, league sources say, will now take place this week after it was moved from the weekend
Marc Stein: John Lucas is an emerging candidate in the Rockets' search for a new head coach, league sources say. Lucas served as the Rockets' player development coach on Mike D'Antoni's staff for the past four seasons and has strong working relationships with Rockets star guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Get Up: It is not a forgone conclusion that Ty Lue will end up as the Clippers' next head coach, according to @wojespn. "I'm told he's going to meet with New Orleans soon. Houston wants to talk him."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Minnesota Timberwolves associate HC David Vanterpool will interview for the Houston Rockets head coaching job, sources tell ESPN. Vanterpool spent seven seasons on Portland staff before becoming the top assistant with Minnesota a year ago.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Houston and New Orleans are among teams planning to interview Clippers assistant Ty Lue in near future, sources tell ESPN. The Clippers are expected to begin meeting with coaching candidates soon -- and Lue will be prominent in that search to replace Doc Rivers.
Lue, a former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, has some options. The Clippers reached out to him Monday about being a candidate to replace Rivers, who is a close friend, according to sources. Sources added that representatives of the New Orleans Pelicans are scheduled to fly to the West Coast for an informal meeting with Lue on Friday. He’s also scheduled to interview for the Houston Rockets job next week. But Lue is interested in coaching the Sixers.
The Rockets do have interest in Rivers, a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking said. They were expecting and likely still plan to begin requesting permission to speak with candidates or scheduling meetings by Wednesday or Thursday. Those candidates are expected to include Tyronn Lue, Jeff Van Gundy, Kenny Atkinson, Wes Unseld Jr., Stephen Silas and possibly Sam Cassell.
Marc Stein: ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy, about to broadcast the NBA Finals, is suddenly a candidate for two coaching vacancies Van Gundy has admirers with the Clippers (most notably Lawrence Frank) as well as Houston (Daryl Morey wanted JVG in 2016 and Tilman Fertitta is also said to be a fan)
Can ‘Sam I Am’ the guard whisperer work his magic in Clutch City? The more I hear about Cassell — either from players or folks around the league — the more a fit makes sense. Jovan’s description only strengthens that stance, looking at the main points of his analysis and identifying what Houston needs. Cassell would be a first-time head coach should he accept the job, but it’s hard to argue the fit. For those that walk the storyline/narrative route, you’d be bringing back an influential guard who was a part of the most successful era in team history. The Steve Nash hire in Brooklyn raised a few eyebrows, but the knowledge of the game is there, the experience is there, the savviness is there. Cassell possesses all of those qualities in spades. For the sheer ‘prodigal son’ championship feel, I’d have a hard time believing ownership wouldn’t be jumping at that opportunity.
Brian Windhorst on Rockets' coaching search: Keep an eye on former Rocket, a guy who won a championship in Houston, Sam Cassell. And if not him, one of the favorites is our colleague here at ESPN, former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, in the mix for this job.
Mike D’Antoni is out as head coach of the Rockets. You’ve been petitioning for your former teammate Sam Cassell to replace him. What about Cassell makes you think he’s the best option? Vernon Maxwell: I just feel like it’s his time. He’s been on the bench as an assistant coach for 15 years [Cassell started coaching in 2009]. I get tired of these owners and general managers, they just recycle all these goddamn coaches. You’ve gotta try something new. You’ve gotta give them a chance to see what they can do, and I don’t think that’s fair to guys like Sam. They need to give him a chance and a legit shot. Let him bring in his people that he wants and I think he’ll do fine. He’s ready now.
How serious of a candidate is Ty Lue for the coaching position? It’s kinda hard to gauge, no ?—considering that the sample size of him as a head coach is rather small. — Daniel B. Kelly Iko: Lue is a serious candidate. I respectfully disagree with the notion that his sample size is hard to gauge. Remember it was Lue who took over the job from David Blatt midway through the 2016 season and led the Cavaliers to the promised land, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to steal a Game 7 win in Oakland. That of course takes LeBron James, but also coaching guts. During his stint in Cleveland, Lue led the Cavs to three straight Finals appearances. I’m fairly certain anyone within the Rockets organization would take those odds, especially being able to garner the respect of the greatest player in the world and compete on the league’s highest platform.
Jonathan Feigen: Tilman Fertitta on the coaching search: "It begins and end with the general manager. That's why you have a basketball operations team. They'll make a recommendation to me. I'm the sign off guys. I wouldn't know how to interview a basketball coach."
March 4, 2021 | 11:20 am EST Update
Julius Randle: Reputations are funny things, man. When I signed with the Knicks two summers ago, I was hype. Actually, I was beyond hype: I’ve had doubters for my entire career — and New York’s front office basically told me to brush those people off to the side. They said, We see you, we believe in you, we want you to be our guy. And here’s a big-time deal to back it up. Them having that type of faith in me…. it meant everything.
Julius Randle: But it also left me with something to prove, you know?? I had this whole new role now — and this whole new contract to live up to. And when the season rolled around, I think I just went out there with those types of thoughts running through my mind. They’re expecting you to get your 25-to-30 tonight. That’s your JOB. So go and do your job. Stuff like that. I’m not a selfish player — never been a selfish player in my life. Always been about the team. But I had it in my head that for this team, in this situation, they were paying me a lot of money because they wanted me to get a lot of shots up. It didn’t turn out so well.
Julius Randle: More than any team I’ve ever been on, with this year’s Knicks, it feels like we have a collective purpose. And I think that’s also one of the things that Thibs has been great at bringing to the table. This idea of how we can have our goals as individuals, and then our goals as a team…. and if we have the right mindset, there’s no reason those goals can’t feed into each other. It just feels like something good is happening. And I guess that’s how I feel about my own season as well. It’s been a lot of hard work paying off: as a shooter, as a passer, as a leader — man, you name it. And on a personal level, like I said…. it’s been a long and winding road.
Julius Randle: And that’s what’s been special about this year. I’ve gotten to flip the script on my own reputation as a player, while I’ve also gotten to help with this larger thing we have going — where we’re flipping the script on the reputation of our entire franchise. Mostly, though, I just wanted to write this to say thank you to everyone who’s been supporting us during a tough time…. and over a strange couple of seasons. We’re building something here, and I’m glad to be a part of it. I’m grateful for the chance to make a second first impression. I’m damn proud to be a Knick.
March 4, 2021 | 11:11 am EST Update
Grant is in the midst of his best season as a pro, and despite him not being selected for his first All-Star appearance this year, many teams have checked in on his availability and made offers, per league sources. However, Detroit appears to have *no interest* whatsoever in trading Grant, who is averaging 23.4 points this season and is in good position to win the NBA’s Most Improved Award, per league sources.
Wayne Ellington, Delon Wright and Mason Plumlee. Per sources, these three veterans have received most of the legitimate interest from opposing teams up to this point. Despite his struggles as of late, the 33-year-old Ellington is still shooting over 40 percent from 3 on 6.0 attempts per game. Contending teams looking to add shooting have inquired about his services.
Despite jumping into a starting point guard role after injuries to rookie Killian Hayes, Wright has shown to be one of the better backup options on the market for a contending team, especially when you factor in his contract. However, Detroit very well could hold on to Wright until next season because of his versatility, leadership and the chance that the team turns a corner sooner rather than later with some lottery luck and more development from young players in the offseason.