The Houston Rockets season ended about how everyone outside of the City of Houston thought it would—with a loss to a team from Los Angeles in the NBA Playoffs. It was not because fans believed the team was not that good, but because both LA teams are better.
But when seasons end short of a team’s goal, change is imminent. Sure enough, the Rockets will have some change because head coach Mike D’Antoni is not coming back.
So, now the search begins for a new head coach. But that is not all fans can bet on at BetOnline.ag:
Odds On The Next Houston Rockets Head Coach:
- Tyronn Lue +300
- Sam Cassell +400
- Jeff van Gundy, Nate McMillan, Stan Van Gundy +500
- Brett Brown +600
- Kenny Atkinson +800
- Jason Kidd +900
- Chancey Billups +1000
- Ime Udoka +1200
- Billy Donovan +1400
- Wes Unseld Jr. +1600
- Becky Hammon +1800
- Darwin Ham +2000
Will Mike D’Antoni be an NBA Coach next year?
- Yes -300
- No +200
As far as their coaching search goes, there are a few guys the team is rumored to have interest in. Many of them are the usual suspects like Tyron Lue, Jeff and Stan Van Gundy, Kenny Atkinson, and Ime Udoka.
Lue is going to be a popular choice for a lot of teams searching for a new head coach. So, there is a good chance a bidding war will commence for Lue’s services—which means you can count Fertitta out. The Van Gundy’s can be counted out as well. The going trend among teams is to go with a young assistant.
That, or someone with no experience at all
It would not be shocking, though, to see the Rockets go with someone that has a connection to the team and city—like former Rocket and current assistant to Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, Sam Cassell. His lack of head coaching experience is a negative, but teams have not hesitated to hire inexperienced head coaches in recent years.
Billy Donovan’s name is likely to come up a lot due to his connection with Russell Westbrook. But any interest could die quickly if James Harden has reason to think he’d want to make Westbrook the focal point of the offense and not him.
When it comes to Mike D’Antoni, it is hard to believe that he may not have a job next year. While he failed to win a title, he kept the Rockets competitive and relevant in title conversations ever year. Plenty of fan bases would love to be able to say that.
So—how should you bet?
Sam Cassell seems to be getting a lot of early attention for their next head coach, but don’t be shocked if Billy Donovan becomes a favorite. If D’Antoni does not have a job next season, something is wrong with the NBA. Either that, or he does not want one.
He may not win a title with your team, but he will make it better than it was. He’ll have a job with someone as a head coach next year.