Houston Rockets announce Stephen Silas is out as head coach

Rockets take down Wizards in Stephen Silas' final game as coach (2:01)

Rockets take down Wizards in Stephen Silas' final game as coach (2:01)

The Houston Rockets are declining to pick up the fourth-year option on coach Stephen Silas' contract, ending his three-year run leading the franchise's rebuild, the team announced on Monday.

The news came shortly after the Rockets beat the Wizards in their regular-season finale, the team's fourth win in its last five games.

On Monday, general manager Rafael Stone released a statement, saying, "On behalf of the Fertitta family and the entire Rockets organization, I would like to thank Stephen for his contributions to the team and the Houston community over the past three seasons. I have great respect for Stephen both as a person and as a basketball mind. His character, leadership, and positivity have been invaluable during this stage of our growth."

"I feel proud," Silas said of his time with the Rockets. "I wanted to be a head coach my whole life. I wanted to be like my dad. Proud of these guys, proud of their hard work, proud of their growth and maturity as they got through the season."

Silas, 49, took over a Rockets team that quickly pivoted into a rebuild after trading franchise superstar James Harden early in Silas' first season as coach. The Rockets finished 22-60 this season and were 59-117 overall during Silas' tenure.

It was a difficult season for Silas. His father, longtime NBA player and coach Paul Silas, died in December.

"Definitely a hard year. Death is hard when your person closest to you, the person who teaches you all about what you're doing on a daily basis, you lose him, it makes it difficult," Silas said. "What made it easier was a group of guys in that locker room who wouldn't quit, just tried hard and wanted to do the right things. And a staff full of people who I could share quiet moments with or lean on."

Silas is expected to become a prominent associate head coach/top assistant candidate for coaching staffs this offseason. He spent 20 years with various NBA teams as an assistant coach and scout before getting the head-coaching job in Houston.

The Rockets will be one of three teams with the best odds (14%) to win the draft lottery and get the No. 1 pick. Houston selected Jabari Smith with the third pick last year and drafted Jalen Green at No. 2 in 2021.

Houston hasn't had the first overall pick since 2002, when the team drafted Yao Ming.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.