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Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni, Daryl Morey starting to put together ‘preferred list of names’ of coaching candidates

Mike D'Antoni, Daryl Morey, Rockets

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey have begun putting together names of potential assistant coaching candidates.

The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen reported on the development on May 29.

The Rockets had begun the process of retooling the staff with coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey putting together ‘preferred list of names’ of coaching candidates, according to a person with knowledge of the process.

The Rockets had not yet set up interviews since the priority remains on determining if there can be an arrangement with D’Antoni on an extension.

The Rockets also believe they did some of the initial work involved in a coaching staff in October when (Jeff) Bzdelik had initially retired.

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta expressed displeasure over the team’s ouster in the second round at the hands of the defending champions Golden State Warriors. He told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday the team will find ways to improve. One of these is overhauling the coaching staff.

According to Feigen, the Rockets will not renew the contracts of associate head coach Bzdelik and assistants Roy Rogers and Mitch Vanya. The team can only interview potential candidates once D’Antoni and the Rockets agree to a contract extension.

D’Antoni and the team have begun preliminary talks on a new contract, per a May 20 update from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The 68-year-old D’Antoni told ESPN “I can continue to do this at a high level for at least another three years.” He added, “I want to be part of a championship here.”

It should be interesting to find out who D’Antoni’s new assistants will be for the 2019-20 NBA season. Rockets fans should expect another exciting playoff run. If all goes well, a third NBA title should be well within reach.