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Report: Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans Pursuing Tyronn Lue as Assistant Coach
- Updated: May 28, 2019
Despite the interest from both the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans, Lue reportedly remains focused on again becoming a head coach in the league.
Shams Charania of The Athletic indicated that the Rockets have been looking to add Lue in some capacity since he was dismissed by the Cavs last October:
“League sources said the Rockets offered Lue an assistant coaching position soon after he was let go by Cleveland in October and have not made a formal offer recently.”
With regard to the Pelicans, the presence of the Pelicans’ new executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin helps explain part of the interest in bringing Lue to New Orleans. Griffin’s last job was serving as general manager of the Cavs from 2014 to 2017.
In addition to Griffin, Lue would be able to renew his connection with the Pelicans’ current head coach, Alvin Gentry. The two had previously worked together as assistant coaches with the Los Angeles Clippers under Doc Rivers.
Earlier this month, Lue was seemingly poised to become the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. That changed when contract issues developed having to do with the length of his contract, the annual salary, and Lue’s ability to hire his own coaches.
Lue put together a 128-83 regular season record during his tenure as head coach of the Cavaliers. He was elevated to that role in January 2016 and proceeded to lead the franchise to their first NBA title five months later. Two more trips to the finals followed, but when the rebuilding Cavs dropped their first six games this past season, he was fired.
One of the reasons that Lue is in no rush to take any job he may be offered stems from the contract he signed after winning that 2016 title. That deal still has two more years before it expires, with the five-year, $35 million deal averaging out to $7 million per season.