The Houston Rockets, lottery-bound for the third consecutive season, are parting ways with head coach Stephen Silas.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news earlier today, announcing the team declined to pick up the fourth-year option on Silas’ contract.
The Houston Rockets are declining to pick up the fourth-year option on coach Stephen Silas’ contract, ending his three-year run leading the franchise’s rebuild, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/aJqxY91d31— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 9, 2023
Silas, 49, has led the Rockets to a 22-60 record this season, good for No. 14 in the Western Conference. Only the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons have worse records this year.
Silas did not see a winning season with Houston in his three-year tenure, as the Rockets finished last place in the West in 2021 and 2022. They received the second pick in the 2021 draft, selecting Jalen Green, and the third pick in 2022, taking Jabari Smith Jr.
Despite a wealth of young talent also including Alperen Sengun and Kevin Porter Jr., no discernible progress was made with the team in the win column.
Silas came in to a rebuilding situation following the abrupt departure of former MVP James Harden and had to scramble to pick up the pieces. It’s also commonplace for coaches, rookie or not, to struggle mightily without superstar or championship veterans.
The decision is final, and now a new one is on the horizon — who will replace Silas? Wojnarowski reported in a subsequent Tweet that candidates include former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and current Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.
All four coaches have championship experience as either lead or assistant men. Udoka and Vogel bring defensive wit, while Nurse offers innovative play-calling on both ends, and Atkinson has a track record of leading teams to the playoffs and shadowing perennial champion Steve Kerr in a first-class Golden State organization.