Lue considered 'serious candidate' for Rockets coaching opening

Sam Amico

Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue has emerged as a "serious candidate" for the Houston Rockets' vacancy, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

The Rockets are looking to replace Mike D'Antoni, who stepped down after a second-round playoff exit.

Lue and the LeBron James-led Cavs won the NBA title in 2016, with Lue coaching them to three straight Finals appearances overall. He was also the lead assistant for the Cavs when they reached the Finals in 2015.

He is considered to be in the mix for other vacancies, including that of the Philadelphia 76ers, where he is "strongly vying" for the job with D'Antoni and former Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Lue served as the lead assistant for Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers this past season -- a position he had before coming to Cleveland in 2014.

"Lue has won and connected with LeBron," wrote Ben DuBose of USA Today. "It also depends on the pieces put around, but he’s experienced enough to do the same with (James) Harden and (Russell) Westbrook. Lue’s best tactical work was done in the postseason, an area where the Rockets have come up short four times in a row during D’Antoni’s time. 

"In an interview, his best selling strategy will be the star names he’s worked with: LeBron, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Lue, 43, has compiled a 128-83 overall record, and 41-20 in the playoffs. He was fired by the Cavs after an 0-6 start in 2018-19.