The Houston Rockets are in discussions with Villanova assistant Billy Lange to become the head coach of their NBA Development League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Lange, 41, has been weighing an offer and discussing deal parameters for several days, sources said Friday.
The Vipers are the defending D-League champions and have served as a springboard for their past two head coaches – Nick Nurse (the Toronto Raptors) and Chris Finch (the Rockets) – to ascend into NBA assistant coaching jobs.
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The Rockets are heavily involved in the management of their minor league hybrid and utilize the minor league team as much as any NBA team for the purposes of player and coach development.
Before accepting the associate head coaching job under Jay Wright at Villanova in 2011, Lange spent seven seasons as head coach at the Naval Academy. Lange was credited with revitalizing Navy, improving the program's win total in five straight seasons after inheriting a five-win program. He was voted the Patriot League coach of the year in 2008. In nine seasons as a head coach, including two at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Lange has a 131-134 record.