Report: Rockets receive permission to interview Luke Walton

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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The Rockets’ season mercifully ended last night with a loss to the Warriors, allowing Houston’s players free to go on what appeared to be highly anticipated vacations.

But don’t be surprised if a few members of the Rockets organization hang around Oakland.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

Luke Walton – who served as acting head coach for about half Golden State’s 73-win season – is the hot coaching name of the year. The Lakers and Kings want him, and he has come up in the Knicks’ “search.”

Houston might offer the most appealing job if it weren’t for its location – away from the West Coast, an area Walton seems to enjoy. Though sometimes difficult, James Harden is a true star. General manager Daryl Morey has a strong track record of roster building. Owner Leslie Alexander has shown a commitment to winning. Dwight Howard is probably leaving, but that would open cap space, and the Rockets have proven to be a free agent destination. There’s a lot to work with.

Of course, Walton’s current job might be more appealing than any head-coaching vacancy. He appears to like serving as lead assistant on the best – and maybe most collaborative – team in the NBA. Walton can pick his spot for a head-coaching job.

Houston faces the same predicament with another known candidate, Jeff Van Gundy. If Van Gundy doesn’t get enough power, he’s probably content as a color commentator.

If these are the Rockets’ targets, it’s on Morey and Alexander to persuade one to bolt his current job.