The Rockets have a head coach! Wednesday afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweeted that Houston had come to an agreement with former Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Stephen Silas.
In 2016, Silas interviewed with the Rockets for their head coaching vacancy before ultimately finishing runner-up to Mike D’Antoni. Though he lacks the head coaching experience of other names like Tyronn Lue, Jeff Van Gundy, and Doc Rivers, players have raved about Silas’ coaching abilities. Luka Doncic credits Silas as a “big reason for [his] growth as a player”.
With Silas’ fingerprints all over the Mavericks’ offensive schemes, Dallas became the most efficient offense in NBA history. There are an incredible amount of similarities in James Harden and Luka Doncic’s offensive prowess and Silas will look to unleash a similar assault with Harden and Russell Westbrook at the helm.
With general manager Daryl Morey stepping down (and breaking all our hearts by signing a five-year deal to become the president of the Philadelphia 76ers), the Rockets promoted Rafael Stone to acting general manager. That position was solidified today as well, as Stone was named full-time GM. Silas and Stone will look to take a Houston team that has all the star power of a championship contender, but the journey doesn’t end with the head coaching position. The Rockets are reportedly looking to beef up their staff with Nate McMillan, Jeff Hornacek, and John Lucas II.
The NBA is slated to start their season somewhere between Christmas and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with free agency opening December 1st. With new leadership, the Rockets are surely going to be in conversations with several teams and free agents looking to round out their roster. This is strange territory for many Rockets fans, as the Morey era is all many of them have known. A new owner, new GM, new head coach – not to mention only the second year of the Harden-Westbrook pairing in Houston – the 2021 season will be make or break in a lot of ways for this franchise.