Tyronn Lue

NBA rumors: Rockets pursued Ty Lue as assistant coach to Mike D'Antoni

NBA rumors: Rockets pursued Ty Lue as assistant coach to Mike D'Antoni

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday at 4 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach Ty Lue after an 0-6 start to the season, after LeBron James left the organization following the NBA Finals sweep by the hands of the Warriors.

The Houston Rockets then tried to hire him.

Shams Charania of The Athletic has the details:

League sources said the Rockets offered Lue an assistant coaching position soon after he was let go by Cleveland in October and have not made a formal offer recently.

Remember, Houston associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik retired just before training camp opened and the Rockets had a vacancy.

Ultimately, Bzdelik unretired and returned to the bench full-time just after Thanksgiving. 

But the Rockets parted ways with Bzdelik less than two weeks ago (about a week after losing Game 6 to the Warriors), and are undergoing a significant overhaul.

As The Athletic writes:

The Rockets are working to add to their staff following the departures of assistant coaches Jeff Bzdelik, Mitch Vanya and Roy Rogers, player development assistant Irv Roland and video coordinator John Cho. Lue would be a coup for the Rockets’ staff as a former head coach who has championship pedigree and would provide his offensive and defensive instincts to the organization.

Additionally, head coach Mike D'Antoni is entering the final year of his contract and wants an extension.

A couple of weeks ago, it looked like Lue was going to be named the next head coach of the Lakers, but negotiations stalled.

[RELATED: Warriors-Rockets was actually the NBA Finals, Skip Bayless says]

Lue reportedly is focused on landing a head coaching job so it's unclear if he would even consider being an assistant with the Rockets. 

Regardless, Lue's next gig surely will put him in a spot tasked with a job only he has been able to do in the last five years -- take down the Warriors.

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NBA rumors: Kyrie Irving-Ty Lue relationship reason Lakers ended talks

NBA rumors: Kyrie Irving-Ty Lue relationship reason Lakers ended talks

First things first: The Los Angeles Lakers are currently an unmitigated disaster.

Expected to try and challenge the Warriors in the Western Conference after landing LeBron James, the Purple and Gold bottomed out in the second half of the season, causing James to miss the playoffs for the first time since his second season in the NBA. Then, Magic Johnson abruptly quit as president of basketball operations. Head coach Luke Walton and the team agreed to part ways, allowing Walton to land the head coaching job with the Kings. 

The Warriors, all the while, continue their march to a third-straight NBA title. Things got tougher Wednesday, though, as the Dubs will be without Kevin Durant for the remainder of their second-round NBA playoff series with the Rockets after the two-time NBA Finals MVP suffered a right calf strain in Game 5.

Things are still much better in the Bay than L.A., obviously.

The Lakers appeared to have their next head coach all but locked up, but negotiations with former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue fell through reportedly due to contract demands and the Lakers' desire for him to have Jason Kidd as an assistant coach on his staff.

But, what if there is another reason talks between Lue and the Lakers fell apart?

On the latest episode of "The Bill Simmons Podcast," the Ringer CEO mentioned a rumor that he's heard since Lue and the Lakers agreed to go their separate ways.

"The rumor mill is fantastic," Simmons said during a conversation with longtime Celtics radio play-by-play announcer Sean Grande. "I don't mind passing along various things I've heard, including, somebody told me that Ty Lue -- the Lakers had to back out of the Ty Lue thing because Ty Lue and Kyrie, they couldn't be together again and Kyrie's going to go there and that's why that fell through. Not because of the contract. I have no idea if that's true or not but that's going to be the next two months of my life."

First of all, it should be noted that Simmons admits he doesn't know if it's true, but that's the very definition of a rumor,

Now, whispers of Irving potentially joining the Lakers began after Irving told reporters he called James to apologize for the way he acted upon his exit from the Cavs. Those rumors have grown louder over the last few months.

[RELATED: Recent sense among Warriors that KD might stay]

With Irving and the Celtics being bounced from the second round of the playoffs by the Bucks on Wednesday, the speculation about his future will only intensify from here on out.

Irving, who is best friends with Durant, has been rumored to be a target of the Knicks as New York dreams of pairing the two stars together this offseason. But the Lakers could throw a huge wrench in the Knicks' plans by swiping Irving once free agency begins.

It does seem highly unlikely that the Lakers are going about their head coaching search based on the thought that Irving wants to reunite with James. But we all know teams don't wait until the season is over to start contacting potential free agents (even if they are supposed to), and with Irving and James' relationship healed, perhaps it truly is a done deal. 

If Irving does choose to sign with the Lakers, that could impact the decision of Durant who many believe desires to play with his good friend next season. With no other superstar to pair up with in New York, would Durant leave the Dubs to play with Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and potentially Zion Williamson? Seem unlikely.

Irving heading to Tinseltown could both make the Lakers more of a threat to the Warriors but also could allow the Dubs to convince Durant to stay. Real double-edged sword. 

Of course, the Lakers landing a star free agent is far from a guarantee. The legendary franchise has been run more like a carnival of late, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the Lakers whiff in free agency and be left searching for a way to compete in the final years of James' prime.

NBA rumors: Lakers will move on from Ty Lue after contract 'impasse'

NBA rumors: Lakers will move on from Ty Lue after contract 'impasse'

The Los Angeles Lakers just can't get out of their own way, and Warriors fans are loving it.

In the aftermath of the Magic Johnson debacle, the Lakers should have quietly gone about hiring a new president of basketball operations and then a new head coach. Instead, the Lakers have embarked on a search for a new coach without a president of basketball operations, and they, unsurprisingly, landed on Tyronn Lue.

Lue, as you know, coached LeBron James in Cleveland and played for the Lakers during their three-peat. (Remember Allen Iverson's famous stepover? Yeah, that was Lue).

Lue was the coach of the title-winning Cavaliers in 2016, who infamously came back from a three-games-to-one deficit vs. the Warriors to win the championship. Lue and James appeared to be on track to partner up again in Los Angles to challenge the Warriors over the next few years -- especially if the Warriors undergo a "seismic change" this offseason -- but now it appears that is no longer the case.

Lue and the Lakers reportedly have reached a standstill in the negotiations to make Lue the next head coach of the Purple and Gold, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday.

The two sides reportedly will not reach an agreement as both Lue and the Lakers have told the other side they are going in a different direction, according to Tania Ganguli and Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

OK, so what was the impasse all about? After all, it's negotiations. It's probably a difference in money, right?

Yes, and no. While there were issues with the contract, Wojnarowski reported there also was an issue around Lue's staff and who the Lakers want on it.

Lue is the guy the Lakers want, and whether that's a good or bad idea who knows, but to torpedo it because you want Jason Kidd on the staff is next-level crazytown.

First of all, there's no indication Kidd would even be interested in an assistant coaching gig, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Furthermore, what in the world could Kidd have said in his interview for the head coaching job that convinced Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka that he has to be on the staff?

Was it his sterling 139-152 record as head coach of the Bucks? Couldn't have been that. Or how he was canned in favor of letting Joe Prunty run the team for half a season? Probably not a high selling point.

Sure, Kidd has a decent track record with developing young talent and the Lakers have that in spades. But it's not worth creating a circus over, is it? 

[RELATED: Warriors reportedly believe CP3 made 'dirty play' on Iguodala]

James also reportedly is interested in getting Tom Thibodeau to join the staff to coordinate the defense. But, at this point, it probably ends with him becoming the head coach and running James, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma into the ground.

After all, if the Lakers flop in their hunt for a free agent this summer, James will have to go to war with the young guns again. Something he might not be too thrilled with based on his attitude this past season.

Cue the popcorn emoji from Warriors fans everywhere.