The Houston Rockets will be making former Dallas Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas the franchise’s newest head coach. Silas and the team were finalizing the details of the deal on Wednesday afternoon, and a formal announcement by the Rockets should be expected very soon, sources told ESPN.
The Rockets came into an offseason which will likely be the shortest in recent memory with a lot of holes to fill off the court. Houston watched head coach and offensive guru Mike D’Antoni leave after his contract expired, allowing for the franchise to bring in Silas, who has spent the last two years as an assistant to Rick Carlisle in Dallas. Silas is the son of longtime NBA player and coach Paul Silas, making them just the fifth father-son combo to have earned head coaching jobs in the NBA.
The younger Silas had previously worked on the sidelines for the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, and Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets.
Apart from his father, who was a three-time NBA champion, two-time All-Star, and four-time member of the All-Defense team, Stephen Silas, now 47, has had a good deal of experience coaching elite guards, of which Houston has two in James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Silas was in Washington for Gilbert Arenas’ best season and coached Kemba Walker for many years. He has also worked closely with burgeoning superstars, such as individual skill work with LeBron James from 2003-2005 and perimeter development with Steph Curry in his rookie year. Most recently in Dallas he worked with Luka Doncic, who could very well be the NBA’s next MVP, sitting as the favorite with 7.00 odds right now on 888sports.
Houston also had to replace long-time general manager Daryl Morey—who had held his post since 2007, a span during which only the San Antonio Spurs posted more wins—after he was essentially forced out following just a half season of his ‘small-ball’ philosophy resulting in another early playoff exit. Morey is now expected to head up operations for the Philadelphia 76ers. Meanwhile, Houston has turned to Rafael Stone to be the team’s new general manager and to help guide Silas in his first head coaching gig.
Clearly, Silas is a veteran of the game and will look to have a positive impact on a couple more star guards in Harden and Westbrook, but the Rockets—who are just 11th with 23.00 odds to win next year’s NBA title on 888sports—still want to ensure the rookie head coach has the best staff possible supporting him.
To that end, the Rockets will look to bring John Lucas, their very well-respected director of player development, back into the fold. Houston has also reportedly reached out to former NBA head coaches Nate McMillan and Jeff Hornacek to round out Silas’ staff.