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Reports: Udoka to interview for Rockets coaching job; Vogel, Cassell, Borego as well

Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16: Head coach Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on March 16, 2022 in San Francisco, California. 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 Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

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The Houston Rockets coaching job is going to be a balancing act between maturing the young stars on the team — Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., Kevin Porter Jr., Alperen Şengün, plus whoever they draft this June — and some veterans brought in with cap space to start winning now (cue the James Harden rumors).

The Rockets front office is doing their due diligence, and the latest big name coming in for an interview is former Celtics’ coach Ime Udoka, reports Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

This is not a surprise, Udoka has been linked to the Rockets’ job almost since the day Stephen Silas was let go. Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals a year ago but has been away from the team this season after news of an inappropriate relationship with a Celtics’ staffer surfaced (Joe Mazzula took his place and led the team to the second-best record in the NBA).

Other people known to have interviewed/are about to interview for the Rockets’ job include:

• Frank Vogel, the coach who helped lead the Lakers to the title in the bubble. He had a very strong first interview and will have a second, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
• Doc Rivers’ long-time assistant Sam Cassell (now with the 76ers, formerly with the Clippers) will get a chance.
• James Borrego, the former Hornets’ head coach, will get an interview, reports Michael Scotto of Hoopshype.
Long-time Rockets assistant Adrian Griffin will get an interview.
• Kevin Young, one of the top assistants to Monty Williams in Phoenix, also will get an interview.

While there had been rumors the Rockets would have interest in Nick Nurse if he leaves

It’s a wide net being cast, but the Rockets need someone who can walk in the door and command a locker room. They will take their time in getting this right, but they will want this person in place well before the NBA Draft this June (and the trades that come with it).