Houston Rockets: How the team can secure Tyronn Lue as an assistant

Houston Rockets Tyronn Lue (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Tyronn Lue (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets are reportedly interested in bringing in Tyronn Lue as an assistant coach. Despite his wishes, here’s what the team needs to do secure.

The Houston Rockets have about a month to go before the offseason officially starts and the whirlwind of changes that we expect to see will be with the coaching staff as well as the bench, to which the franchise will be seeking changes to.

Our beloved Houston Rockets fell to the Golden State Warriors in six games during the Western Conference Semifinals this season and it would be unacceptable to bring back the same group of people when either same results — or worse — the team underachieves and a whole season has been wasted because they’d want to run it back.

No worries — the Houston Rockets have general manager Daryl Morey at the helm and he’s not necessarily a fan of doing that.  He’s done so before and it absolutely burned him to no end.  We can look no further than the 2015-16 season when a team that had just ousted the Los Angeles Clippers in an amazing Western Conference Semis, had the opportunity to get all the way to Western Conference Finals to face the Warriors.

They were no match for the Warriors, only to be able to get a game out of what would be the first of multiple championships for a dynasty, with the Houston Rockets falling in that series 4-1.

There was a lot promise for the 2015-16 season but it ended up mired in conflict with Dwight Howard not happy about his role, causing a line of separation between players in the locker room.  Despite all of that, the Houston Rockets managed to secure the final playoff spot of the West with a 41-41 record and quick exit courtesy of the Warriors yet again.

I think after that moment, Morey knew he could never make such a decision again, tweaks had been made and then they were able to get back on track.  That previous bunch from 2014-15 overachieved and it was truly one of the then 37-year-old Jason Terry‘s swan songs.

But anyway. the Houston Rockets are in that midst of change at the moment and The Athletic’s Shams Charania is reporting that they are interested in Tyronn Lue as an assistant coach.

Lue, who coached the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA championship in 2016, is still a free agent after not coming to terms with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He is dead-set on getting an NBA head coaching job and I honestly think he should be.  He has proven his worth in this league and should pursue nothing but the best opportunity for him.  He’s still getting paid by the Cavs on the deal he signed with him so he doesn’t necessarily have to work if he doesn’t want to.  But being the basketball lifer that he is, there’s no question that he wants to return to the bench.

But the Houston Rockets have expressed that interest to plant that seed in his mind that if he wants to work, he’ll have plenty of talent to cultivate.

Charania also reports that the New Orleans Pelicans also have interest in Lue.  David Griffin — who was the general manager of the Cavs during most of Lue’s tenure — is now the executive vice president of the team.

Here’s what the Houston Rockets need to do…

It’ll be interesting to see if the Houston Rockets can secure him but I think the only way Lue’s head

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tilts toward the Bayou City is if they do a “handshake” deal under the table, promising him that he’s the coach-in-waiting if the team fails to meet their objectives next season.

Mike D’Antoni is going into the final season of his four-year, $16 million deal and the Houston Rockets have not come to terms on a contract extension at this time.  D’Antoni has publicly expressed his desire for an extension of at least three years minimum.

If that’s enough to bring him in, I’m all for it.  Lue is a player-friendly coach and I think he’d be a fantastic fit for our two superstars in James Harden and Chris Paul.  He can deal with the larger-than-life egos as he coached LeBron James for three seasons.

His creativity with offensive sets could be used but that’s D’Antoni’s strength, let’s hope Lue can help continue to motivate these guys to play defense.  None of the teams he coached were elite defenders as a whole so that’s certainly the million-dollar question if he’s brought in.  Nonetheless, it’ll be nice to have someone else look under the hood of D’Antoni’s ingenuity.

Next. Rockets: Harden and Paul conflict should invoke changes. dark

Let’s keep our eyes peeled for this but I like this development and would welcome Lue to this organization with open arms.

Lue, 42, possesses a 128-83 record in nearly four seasons as the Cavs’ head coach from 2015-19.