Southwest Notes: D’Antoni, Grizzlies, Hardaway, Ingram

Potential lame-duck Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni‘s expiring contract with the team will not affect his tenure with the team for the rest of the 2019/20 season, if play resumes, per Sam Amick of The Athletic. D’Antoni’s contract is technically set to expire on July 1st.

The 40-24 Rockets not need fear D’Antoni walking before the season is over, according to the coach’s agent, Warren LeGarie. “It’s obviously something we have to work out,” LeGarie told Amick, “but he would never, ever walk away from what he feels is a moral responsibility to see it through with his team and especially with his players.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • The 32-33 Grizzlies, currently the No. 8 seed in the West, will be confronting some interesting questions during the offseason, according to The Athletic’s Peter Edmiston and John Hollinger. De’Anthony Melton, a restricted free agent, could command a deal in the range of the mid-level exception. The versatile Justise Winslow, acquired as part of a larger trade deadline deal with the Heat, remains an exciting potential fit with core pieces Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant, though his health has been an issue throughout his early career.
  • Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban is excited about how Tim Hardaway Jr. has fit with the squad during his first year in Dallas, according to an interview with WFAN recounted by Stefan Bondy of the New York Post. “Quickest release in the NBA,” Cuban raved. “Probably one of the top three catch-and-shoot players in all of the NBA now.” This season, the 28-year-old shooting guard has averaged 15.8 PPG, 3.1 PG, and 2.0 APG on 43.7% shooting from the field. He has converted 40.7% of his 7.2 three-point attempts per game.
  • Pelicans All-Star Brandon Ingram, a restricted free agent in the offseason this year, has earned a maximum contract with his growth during 2019-20, according to William Guillory and Danny Leroux of The Athletic. The actual amount of that contract remains up in the air, due to a salary cap that will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
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