5 player-turned-coaches the Houston Rockets could target

Sam Cassell (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Sam Cassell (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Darvin Ham (Photo credit should read Soe Than WIN/AFP/GettyImages) /

3. Darvin Ham

Darvin Ham‘s NBA career spanned a total of eight seasons, and he played for legendary coach Larry Brown during his stint with the Detroit Pistons. Ham also won a championship as a member of the 2003-04 Pistons, and embraced his role as a role player.

Ham began his coaching career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and remained with the Lake Show for two seasons, including the 2012-13 season under former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni. Ham then left the Lakers to join Mike Budenholzer’s staff with the Atlanta Hawks in 2013, and remained in Atlanta for five seasons.

The Hawks had some of their most successful seasons under Budenholzer, as they went 60-22 during the 2014-15 season, and boasted four All-Stars in Al Horford, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, and Jeff Teague. Budenholzer left the Hawks following the 2017-18 season, and joined the Milwaukee Bucks, bringing Ham with him.

Ham received a promotion in Milwaukee, as he became the lead assistant for Budenholzer, and the Bucks went 116-39 from 2018-20, which was the best record in the league during that span. Budenholzer’s teams have consistently utilized a heavy 3-point approach, which would certainly be appealing to Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, and they have utilized the corner three, much like the Rockets.

During the NBA’s annual GM survey in 2019, Ham was listed as one of the league’s top assistants, and he received consideration from the Bulls for their coaching vacancy, which will certainly be the first of many.

The Rockets would be wise to give Ham a call, considering his stature around the league and his championship experience, along with his playing career.

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