Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni has ended discussions with team management about a potential contract extension, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Wojnarowski, D’Antoni is now planning to finish his current deal with Houston, which has one year left and will expire in 2020.
This development is the latest in a somewhat surprising series of events in Houston since the team was eliminated by the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals earlier this month. While both the Rockets and D’Antoni expressed interest in getting an extension done, the team has broken up D’Antoni’s staff, parting ways with Jeff Bdzelik, Roy Rogers, Mitch Vanya, and Irv Roland in a series of moves.
Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle wrote in a mailbag this week that there’s no major schism between the two sides. According to Feigen, the Rockets recognize the excellent job D’Antoni has done in Houston, and the veteran head coach had no intention of stepping down with or without an extension.
D’Antoni – who has said he believes he can coach three more years but would’ve been fine with tacking on one season to his current contract – seems OK with heading into the final year of his deal, Feigen tweeted today.
Still, if the Rockets and D’Antoni move forward without a new deal in place, it’s not the most ideal scenario. His ability to put together a quality staff could be compromised if potential assistants know there are no guarantees beyond a single season, Chris Mannix of SI.com observes (via Twitter).
According to Wojnarowski, there were some conversations constructed around a Rockets proposal of a performance-based extension, but those discussions never gained traction with D’Antoni’s camp.
Since taking the reins in Houston in 2016, D’Antoni has compiled a 173-73 (.703) regular season record, as well as a 23-16 (.590) mark in the postseason.