Kiwi coach Zico Coronel has been linked with a move to the NBA as the Houston Rockets look to add to their coaching staff.

The Athletic reported Coronel was one of four coaches being considered to join the Rockets as an assistant to head coach Mike D'Antoni.

Coronel visited the Rockets during this year's NBA season where he spent time shadowing D'Antoni, who he considers his biggest inspiration. Sources told the Herald Coronel impressed the Houston franchise while he was there.

Currently head coach of the Hawke's Bay Hawks in the New Zealand National Basketball League, Coronel is arguably the country's top coach. His simplistic but effective offensive approach has paid dividends for the Hawks, who rank first in most offensive categories and are currently second in the league.


The Athletic reported NBA Championship-winning coach Tyronn Lue, former Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick van Exel and trainer Kenny Ellis are also being considered.

The Rockets are looking to change things up after being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors.

Earlier this week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was reaching out to opposing front offices to test the waters on potential trades.

Led by former league MVP James Harden, the Rockets finished the regular season with a 53-29 record to take the fourth seed in the Western Conference. While many expected they would push the Warriors to the limit in their best-of-seven playoff series, the Warriors were able to cast them aside in six matches.

With the current roster dispatched by the defending champions, Morey could look to move star players like point guard Chris Paul and centre Clint Capela in order to provide Harden with more, or different, help on the floor.

Harden averaged a career high 36 points per game in the 2018-19 season, shooting at 44 per cent from the floor with an offensive rating of 118.

"We're going to have a strong off season, and we're going to do whatever we need to do to be a better team," Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta promised following the team was eliminated from the playoffs. "We are not going to sit on our hands—I can promise you that."