NBA Rumors: Ty Lue Could Be Rockets HC Candidate If Mike D'Antoni Isn't Retained

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2020

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue answers question a question during the NBA basketball team's media day, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Independence, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

The Houston Rockets are still fighting for a championship inside the bubble, but they reportedly may have a new head coach next season. 

According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, the Rockets could target Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Ty Lue if they choose to move on from head coach Mike D'Antoni following this season. Vardon also noted the New Orleans Pelicans may not pursue Lue because his price tag may be higher than the $5.5 million annually they plan on giving their coach.

Houston may not be the only team interested in Lue, as Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported he is on the Philadelphia 76ers' radar as well.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the 76ers fired Brett Brown and suggested the interest in Lue "is expected to be mutual."

It shouldn't come as much surprise that Lue is drawing interest from around the league seeing as how he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a championship in his first season as a head coach after he took over for David Blatt in 2015-16.

He also led Cleveland to the NBA Finals the following two seasons, which they lost to the Golden State Warriors both times, before he was fired after starting the 2018-19 season with an 0-6 record after LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers.

As for Houston, there could be something of a natural fit given that Lue is familiar with working with two stars.

He coached James and Kyrie Irving on those Cavaliers teams and would be in a situation where James Harden and Russell Westbrook are ball-dominant playmakers. The Rockets are also looking to take the next step and compete for a championship after losing in the Western Conference Finals in two of the last five seasons.

Lue is someone who has won that Larry O'Brien Trophy in the past.