Sources: Portland’s Nate Tibbetts to meet about Warriors’ top assistant job

Adrian Wojnarowski

Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts has emerged as a candidate for the Golden State Warriors’ top assistant-coaching job and will meet with Steve Kerr on Monday in Oklahoma City, league sources told The Vertical.

Nate Tibbetts (AP)
Nate Tibbetts (AP)

Tibbetts and Charlotte assistant Stephen Silas are two of the serious candidates to replace new Lakers coach Luke Walton on the Warriors’ bench next season, league sources said.

Tibbetts and Silas traveled to Oklahoma City to meet with Warriors officials on Monday night. Golden State had to expedite the hiring process or risk losing preferred candidates to other teams.

Tibbetts interviewed for the Memphis Grizzlies’ head-coaching job this month. Silas is a finalist for the Houston Rockets head-coaching job.

Tibbetts has been an assistant with the Blazers since 2013 under coach Terry Stotts. Before a two-year stop with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tibbetts was head coach of the NBA Development League’s Tulsa 66ers for two seasons, posting a 64-41 record with two playoff berths.

Portland also was granted permission Sunday to talk to Silas about being its top assistant, league sources said.

Suddenly, the pressure is growing on Houston to make a decision between Silas and Philadelphia 76ers associate head coach Mike D’Antoni for the Rockets’ job.

The Rockets are seriously considering a coaching partnership that includes Silas and Lionel Hollins as associate head coach, league sources said. What had become a Houston process destined to hire D’Antoni has been transformed into a two-candidate race.

Silas was an assistant for the Warriors from 2006-10 and built a strong working relationship with two-time MVP Stephen Curry.

Silas, 42, made a significant impression on the Rockets’ front office in two interviews, and his preparation under well-regarded Charlotte coach Steve Clifford has pushed him into contention for the job, league sources said. Silas met with Houston general manager Daryl Morey a second time on Thursday, a meeting that included his initial audience with owner Leslie Alexander.

Alexander has taken a significant role in the coaching search and has long admired D’Antoni.

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