Luke Walton was fired in part because ownership in Sacramento expected the team to at least make the play-in games in the West, and if the postseason started today they would not.
There were no such expectations in Houston. The rebuilding Rockets were expected to lose a lot of games while playing rookies Jalen Green and Alperen Şengun, plus giving youngsters such as Kevin Porter Jr. and Jae'Sean Tate heavy minutes. Houston is paying John Wall $44 million not to play so the young kids can get more run (a decision Wall and others are questioning).
But after 15 straight losses and the Rockets looking confused and disorganized on the court, coach Stephen Silas is on the hot seat, reports Jake Fischer at Beacher Report.
Now, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation have indicated to B/R that Rockets brass are weighing the future of Stephen Silas, who may become the league’s next coach to be terminated, following Luke Walton’s exit in Sacramento last weekend.
Silas was hired to coach a team that had James Harden and Russell Westbrook on it, but before he had coached 10 NBA games Harden was gone to Brooklyn and the priorities shifted in Houston as the franchise pivoted to a rebuild.
“They put him in a tough position,” said one assistant general manager. “[Silas] is genuinely one of the nicest people in the NBA. He actually cares about people. To put him with a bunch of really young dudes who probably don’t care about anything but their numbers and playing time, he’s just not the right fit.”
A mid-season coaching change in Sacramento made sense through the “we need to make the play-in” prism (although, as John Hollinger of The Athletic noted, firing a coach 17 games into the season means you should have done it during the prior offseason). That pressure to win is why the whispers around the league questioning Frank Vogle’s job security with the Lakers are growing louder.
The only question in Houston should be, “how much better is Jalen Green getting?” And it’s far too early to answer that.
What do the Rockets gain from firing Silas now? Who are they going to bring in that radically changes the player development curve mid-season?
That said, the Rockets have looked bad and disorganized, and it may be more than the front office and ownership can stomach. Not all decisions are made with a calm mind and the big picture in focus.