Getty Images

Stephen Silas is out as the head coach of the Houston Rockets after the team declined to pick up his fourth-year option, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Kelly Iko. The move has been anticipated for quite some time. Silas took over the Rockets after the 2019-20 season, and the team was almost immediately blown up afterward. Russell Westbrook was traded for John Wall before Silas ever coached a game, and early into his first season as Houston's coach, the Rockets traded James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. That left Silas to coach a skeleton crew of leftover veterans and young, developing players.

The Rockets never played sustainably competitive basketball under Silas. Houston finished 17-55 for the worst record in the NBA during Silas' debut 2020-21 season, and while they improved to 20-62 a year later, that mark was also the worst in the league at the time. The Rockets won't have the NBA's worst record this season, as that dubious honor will belong to the Detroit Pistons, but at 22-60, they weren't much better.

The Rockets managed to add quite a bit of young talent during Silas' tenure. They picked Jalen Green No. 2 overall in 2021 and added Jabari Smith at No. 3 in 2022. Alperen Sengun, Kevin Porter Jr., Tari Eason and others have also flashed considerable upside in recent years for the Rockets, but Houston's style of play has often been called undisciplined. As such, the Rockets have drawn quite a bit of criticism from players around the league.

Former Rocket Austin Rivers said that "Someone needs to teach KPJ and Jalen how to play the right way," after a game in January. Draymond Green praised the coaching staff, but made it clear that he believed that the Rockets sorely needed veteran leadership. One of the few veterans they had, Eric Gordon, claimed that there was "no improvement" on the team throughout the season. He was traded to the Clippers at the deadline.

The Rockets needed to rebuild once Harden asked for a trade, but after three years at the bottom of the standings, they are seemingly ready to try to climb back into the playoff race. But Silas won't be around as they attempt to do so, and Houston's search for a new head coach begins now.