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Tyronn Lue lands in Houston to talk to Rockets about coaching job

Tyronn Lue

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 21: Tyronn Lue of the LA Clippers coaches during practice as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on July 21, 2020 in Orlando, 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

And the coaching carousel continues.

The very much in demand Tyronn Lue has landed in Houston to talk with Daryl Morey and the Rockets front office about their coaching job (that discussion reportedly happens Monday). Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston caught up with Lue, who, of course, sang the praises of James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Lue would be a good fit for the Rockets. He managed big egos on a team before and won a ring with them (LeBron James and Kyrie Irving). He has the gravitas to come in and get the players to listen to what he is preaching.

There are two big questions. First, does Lue want the job? Or, put more accurately, does he want this job more than the Clippers’ or Pelicans’ jobs (he was interviewing with both of those teams as well). Lue is in demand and can choose the place he feels is the best fit for him and his family, and where he can win. Does he believe he can contend for a title with a small-ball team led by Harden and Westbrook?

Second, will owner Tillman Fertitta pay Lue’s going rate (which will be on the higher end of coaching salaries, and for five guaranteed years)? Fertitta has been a reluctant spender as an owner, is this where he is going to put his resources? (To be fair, the question of willingness to pay also clouds the idea of Lue to New Orleans.)

Jeff Van Gundy is rumored to be very much in the mix for the Rockets’ job as well (the question of pay is valid here, too). Former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson interviewed for the job. Rockets’ assistant coach John Lucas reportedly had an impressive interview, and a number of other assistant coaches — Wes Unseld Jr. (Denver), Stephen Silas (Dallas), David Vanterpool (Minnesota), and others — are also in the mix.

Houston is taking its time with the search, as they should. The Rockets just let the best small-ball coach in the league walk out the door in Mike D’Antoni, they now need to nail this hire and win while Harden is in his prime.