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Report: Mike D’Antoni ends contract-extension negotiations with Rockets


OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 28: Head coach Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets looks on against the Golden State Warriors during Game One of the Second Round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 28, 2019 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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For a team that was the NBA’s second-best team last season and fourth-best (or so) this season, the Rockets are looking suddenly chaotic.

Houston is reportedly aggressively shopping everyone besides James Harden, and a coaching change within the next year looks more likely than ever.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Rockets dumped Jeff Bzdelik and other assistants, prompting speculation the team was trying to push out Mike D’Antoni. That chatter will only intensify now.

If D’Antoni returns next season, there could be even more problems. Houston will have difficulty luring quality assistant coaches, as the head coach has such little job security. D’Antoni also lacks long-term authority to settle a rift between Harden and Chris Paul about the team’s offensive style.

The Rockets clearly still hold some belief in D’Antoni, as they were negotiating an extension with him. But they clearly didn’t offer enough compensation to appease him. This is becoming a pattern.

If D’Antoni, 68, wants to continue coaching beyond next season, he should have opportunities as a free agent. He does well with players who fit his offensive system, and a good defensive-minded assistant coach can bring everything together.

In the meantime, there’s a lot of uncertainty in Houston.