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Who might be the next Rockets head coach?

Who will be the next Rockets head coach? These are some of the names being floated.
Who will be the next Rockets head coach? These are some of the names being floated. (Getty Images)

HOUSTON – Mike D’Antoni parted ways with the Houston Rockets on Sunday and the Rockets are looking for a new head coach.

The Rockets are sticking with General Manager Daryl Morey, according to reports, meaning small-ball is likely staying and whatever coach the Rockets hire will have to execute that and coach around a James Harden- and Russell Westbrook-led roster that doesn’t have much flexibility.

Here’s a look at some of the candidates:

Sam Cassell, Clippers assistant coach

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 23:  Assistant coach Sam Cassell of the LA Clippers looks on against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 23, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 23: Assistant coach Sam Cassell of the LA Clippers looks on against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 23, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) (2019 Michael Reaves)

The former Rockets NBA champion has been for more than a decade, working for the Washington Wizards, then with Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers.

Many around the NBA say Cassell is ready to lead his own team, and he’s beloved in Houston after winning two championships.

Tyronn Lue, Clippers assistant coach

Head Coach Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on in the second half of the NBA season opener against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on October 17, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Head Coach Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on in the second half of the NBA season opener against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on October 17, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) (2018 Getty Images)

I guess the Rockets are raiding the Clippers for coaching candidates. Former Cavaliers head coach and NBA champion Tyronn Lue was fired shortly after LeBron left and caught on with Doc Rivers in Los Angeles. Lue is known as a players coach and would likely get the sign-off from Harden.

Jeff Van Gundy, USA basketball

Head coach Jeff Van Gundy of the 2019 USA Men's Select Team yells to players during the 2019 USA Basketball Men's National Team Blue-White exhibition game at T-Mobile Arena on August 9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Head coach Jeff Van Gundy of the 2019 USA Men's Select Team yells to players during the 2019 USA Basketball Men's National Team Blue-White exhibition game at T-Mobile Arena on August 9, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

The former Rockets coach’s name gets brought up any time there’s an opening in Houston. Van Gundy is currently working with USA Basketball and broadcasting for ESPN/ABC. He led Houston to the playoffs three out of four seasons but never made it past the first round.

Jason Kidd, Lakers assistant coach

Assistant coach Jason Kidd of the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Assistant coach Jason Kidd of the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) (2019 Michael Reaves)

The former Bucks and Nets head coach is still in the playoffs helping Frank Vogel on the Lakers. Kidd made the playoffs in three of his five seasons as a head coach, but struggled with a strong Bucks team in 2017-18, which ended up making the playoffs without him.

Kenny Atkinson, former Nets head coach

Head coach Kenny Atkinson of the Brooklyn Nets reacts in the first half of the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on March 3, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Head coach Kenny Atkinson of the Brooklyn Nets reacts in the first half of the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on March 3, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) (2020 Kathryn Riley)

Atkinson led a young Nets team to the playoffs in 2018-19 before ownership brought in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. The superstars decided they didn’t want Atkinson as head coach, and now he’s looking for a job. Atkinson did a great job shepherding a young roster into a competitive team.

Ime Udoka, 76ers assistant coach

Assistant coach Ime Udoka of the San Antonio Spurs talks to Jakob Poeltl #25 during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 23, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Assistant coach Ime Udoka of the San Antonio Spurs talks to Jakob Poeltl #25 during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 23, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) (2018 Joe Robbins)

Gregg Popovich’s longtime assistant joined the 76ers in 2019 and has been brought up for various head coaching opportunities over the years.