Chicago State v Indiana

Rockets start meeting with coaching candidates. All of them.

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And the parade of candidates has begun.

The Houston Rockets need a new coach, they want someone younger who can grow with the team, and GM Daryl Morey is leaving no stone unturned. He is interviewing about as many people as live in Montana.

The interviews start this week, according to the Houston Chronicle (via Hoopshype).

Milwaukee assistant coach Kelvin Sampson, who served as head coach at Indiana and Oklahoma before moving to the NBA, is expected to meet with Rockets general manager Daryl Morey Tuesday.

Rockets assistant coach Jack Sikma and former Rockets forward Mario Elie, who has been an assistant with Sacramento, Golden State and San Antonio, will interview Wednesday.

Former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson, a former Rockets player who still lives in Katy, is expected to meet with Morey on Thursday.

Morey has received permission to speak with many assistant coaches still involved in the playoffs but will seek to work around the first-round schedule. The Rockets have expressed interest in Memphis’ Dave Joeger, Dallas’ Dwane Casey, Boston’s Lawrence Frank and San Antonio’s Mike Budenholzer.

This is not going to be a fast process. Which is fine, there is no rush. It’s nice to have a coach’s input around the draft, but Morey drives the personnel decisions with the Rockets, so it’s not necessary.

Carmelo Anthony says he can play at high level 4-5 more years

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Carmelo Anthony can flat-out score the rock — that has never been the question. Even hurting last season for many of the 40 games he played, he averaged 24.2 points a game, had a true shooting percentage of 53.1 percent (right near the league average) while having the entire weight of the Knicks offense on his shoulders (32.2 usage rate, fifth highest in the NBA). When people (or players) talk about him being overrated, the discussion turns to defense or if he makes his teammates better. But there should be no doubt Anthony is an elite scorer.

He thinks he will be for a while longer — like another five years. Via Ian Begley of ESPN:

In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

The Knicks better hope that’s true, they already made that bet with that massive five-year contract they gave him last summer.

Anthony’s age combined with him coming off knee surgery have a lot of people — myself included — expecting him to take a step back. Not a big one, but he is coming up at the point in his career where some open shots he used to get are now contested because he’s half-a-step slower, and some of those looks don’t fall as often. His jumper isn’t suddenly going to look like Rajon Rondo‘s, ‘Melo is going to get his points, but he may not be as efficient.

Fortunately, the Knicks have an improved supporting cast around him this season. That should take some offensive load off his shoulders, and maybe the Knicks offense will see better ball movement and start to resemble the triangle. If it’s just more isolation Anthony, it’s not going to be pretty.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.