Brewer also mentioned Tyronn Lue as a potential candidate for the Houston Rockets, which isn’t surprising considering how Lue is one of the top targets on the coaching market. Lue just wrapped up his first season as an assistant coach under LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers’ staff, and will certainly not be back with the Clippers next season.
Lue has been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers, and he could wind up in New Orleans, as Pelicans GM David Griffin worked with Lue during his coaching tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brewer provided an explanation of why Lue makes for a quality head coaching option.
“A guy like Tyronn Lue. I like him because he dealt with LeBron and all of those personalities. Kyrie in Cleveland. I feel like he’s really capable of dealing with the personalities and dealing with the situation. He’s won and he’s been around superstars.
When you have superstars on your team like the Rockets do, you need a guy like that. He’s been with Kyrie and LeBron. He’s also with the Clippers now and he has Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. And he played with Kobe. He played on those Lakers teams and he won championships when he was a player.
He knows how to win with guys who are at that status. He’s a good guy and I think he knows the game.”
As Brewer mentioned, Lue has experience with managing superstar egos and personalities, as he inherited a Cavs superstar duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, and was tasked with carrying the Cavs to championship contention in spite of rumored tension and friction between Irving and James. To make matters worse was the fact that the Cavs fired then coach David Blatt midseason and announced Lue as the replacement.
Lue defied the odds and led the Cavs to their first championship in team history, as the Cavs overcame a 3-1 deficit against the superteam Warriors to bring home the title during the 2015-16 season. Lue coached the Cavs for the next two seasons and led them to the NBA Finals in each season, including one without Kyrie Irving, who was traded to the Boston Celtics prior to the start of the 2017-18 season.
The Rockets have already been linked to Lue, and understandably so, as his offenses played fairly similar to the Rockets, as it pertains to firing away from deep, as illustrated below:
- 2016-17-2nd in 3-point attempts
- 2017-18-5th in 3-point attempts
The Rockets will likely have to move quickly if they really want Lue, considering the interest he’s drawn around the league. The Rockets will also have to meet Lue’s contract demands, as he turned down the Lakers’ head coaching job due to their unwillingness to offer him a five-year deal, as the Lakers proposed a three-year deal.
The Rockets have had three of their previous four coaches for just four seasons, and the lone exception was Kevin McHale, who was technically brought back for a fifth season, but was fired after just 11 games of the 2015-16 season. It’s also been reported that Lue is seeking an annual salary of $7 million, which would be more than the Rockets have ever paid any of their head coaches.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Houston Rockets end up doing, and even more interesting to see if Daryl Morey will take Brewer up on any of his recommendations.