AP sources: Rockets hiring Stephen Silas to replace D’Antoni

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Stephen Silas

FILE – In this Dec. 15, 2017, file photo, Charlotte Hornets associate head coach Stephen Silas argues a call during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in Charlotte, N.C. The Houston Rockets and Silas have an agreement for the Dallas assistant to replace Mike D’Antoni as coach, multiple people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

The Houston Rockets and Stephen Silas have an agreement for the Dallas assistant to replace Mike D’Antoni as coach, multiple people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday.

The hiring of the son of former NBA player and coach Paul Silas completes a significant change in the leadership of the team with the league’s longest active playoff streak after Daryl Morey decided not to return as general manager following D’Antoni’s departure.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.

The new combination of coach and general manager comes after eight straight trips to the playoffs for the Rockets, all since acquiring James Harden in an offseason trade with Oklahoma City in 2012.

Morey was the architect of those rosters, and D’Antoni led the Rockets to a franchise-record 65 wins in 2017-18 before a Game 7 loss to Golden State in the Western Conference finals. The Warriors swept Cleveland to win the title.

Houston recorded 50-win seasons in each of D’Antoni’s first three years and had a shot at another when the pandemic shut down the regular season last March.

The Rockets beat Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoff bubble in Florida this year before losing to the champion Los Angeles Lakers in five games, the third second-round exit in D’Antoni’s four seasons. The former Phoenix coach decided not to return when his contract expired.

The 46-year-old Silas is the first significant hire for Rafael Stone, who was promoted to GM from vice president of basketball operations when Morey stepped down. Morey is close to becoming president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, the AP has reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Silas inherits a team led by a pair of former MVPs in Harden and Russell Westbrook. The longtime NBA assistant has worked worked with elite guards before, most recently in two seasons with the Mavericks and 21-year-old sensation Luka Doncic.

The nine seasons as a Charlotte assistant for Silas included time with Kemba Walker, and he was with Golden State when the Warriors drafted Stephen Curry in 2009.

Silas started his coaching career on his father’s staff with the Charlotte Hornets in 2000. Paul Silas spent 16 years as a player in the NBA and another 22 as a coach.

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