Report: Mike D’Antoni ends contract-extension negotiations with Rockets
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:
Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has ended talks with management on a contract extension, league sources tell ESPN. D’Antoni plans to complete the final season of his deal in 2019-20. Story soon on ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 30, 2019
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.