The Wizards succeeded in locking up Scott Brooks to a contract before the Rockets had a chance to discuss the position with him, but it looks like they won't be as lucky when it comes to luring his top assistant from his days in Oklahoma City, Rex Kalamian.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Rockets have received permission from the Toronto Raptors to talk with Kalamian about a spot on their coaching staff:
Sources say the Rockets' interest in Kalamian is sparked at least in part by the veteran assistant's strong relationship with Houston star James Harden -- as well as Rockets fantasy free-agent target Kevin Durant -- from their time working together in Oklahoma City.
Kalamian, sources say, is also coveted by new Washington Wizards coach Scotty Brooks, also in a potential associate head-coach role, after Kalamian worked so closely under Brooks with the Thunder before he joined Dwane Casey's Raptors staff coming into this season.
Kalamian served as an assistant under Scott Brooks from 2009-15 in Oklahoma City. He was promoted to lead assistant in 2013 when Maurice Cheeks took the head coaching job with the Detroit Pistons.
It will be interesting to see how Washington responds as more teams enter the race for Kalamian's services. They paid big money to bring Scott Brooks to Washington shortly after dismissing Randy Wittman. Will they be willing to pony up even more to ensure he can surround himself with the staff he wants? It won't be easy against deep-pocketed teams like Houston and Toronto.
If the Wizards can't lure Kalamian, it will be interesting to see where Brooks goes next to find his lead assistant. Several of his former assistants are available, and depending on how the coaching carousel shakes out, there could be some intriguing names available who could bolster Washington's coaching staff next season.