The Rockets officially announced the hiring of Mike D’Antoni as head coach today, a move that team owner Leslie Alexander called a mutual decision between he and GM Daryl Morey, Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com relays. “Daryl and I made this choice together,” Alexander said. “I’ve always wanted to play this way.” The team owner is also excited by D’Antoni’s up-tempo style of offense, Watkins notes. “Mike always says players love to play for him,” Alexander said. “Not only because they get better but they get paid. He’ll be a lucrative source for us in free agency.”
Here’s more from out West:
- The Kings will not renew the contract of Reno Bighorns head coach, David Arseneault Jr., Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor relays (via Twitter). Sacramento’s D-League affiliate went 33-17 under Arseneault this past season.
- The Trail Blazers have finalized their coaching staff for the 2016/17 campaign, with the team announcing that Dale Osbourne has been promoted to lead assistant and scout John McCullough has been moved to assistant coach.
- The Rockets‘ new defensive coach, Jeff Bzdelik, discussing the criticism levied against James Harden‘s defense, noted that the shooting guard is a capable stopper, provided he demonstrates commitment on that end of the court, Watkins relays in a separate piece (ESPN Now link). “He can defend as all of them can when they want to and that goes back to everybody needs to be committed and there needs to be a trust,” Bzdelik said of Harden.
- The Timberwolves worked out former Oklahoma power forward Ryan Spangler today, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (via Twitter). The 24-year-old is a longshot to be selected this June, with Spangler not appearing among the top 100 prospects according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
- Mavs power forward Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t made a decision regarding his player option for 2016/17 yet, but has met with members of the front office to discuss his future, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com tweets.