Rockets Notes: D’Antoni, Travel Details, Tucker

69-year-old Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, who says he has cleared his medical screenings with Houston, has flown with the team to Orlando, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link). Though D’Antoni was granted no “formal NBA thumbs up,” as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets, the league also did not restrict D’Antoni’s campus attendance following the medical clearance.

D’Antoni is the league’s second-oldest head coach, after 71-year-old Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. The 40-24 Rockets are currently the No. 6 seed in the West, 1.5 games clear of the seventh-seeded Mavericks.

There’s more out of Houston:

  • D’Antoni and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey are relishing the opportunity for the team to practice together ahead of the league’s scheduled July 30 restart, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “Because we had a major change in the components of the team, we do think a second training camp benefits us,” Morey said. “Because when you’re integrating a starter onto a very good team, getting more time to drill… will allow us to integrate (Robert) Covington in, and I do think that slightly favors us.”
  • Rockets All-Stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook did not travel with the rest of the team to Orlando today, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link). They are expected to arrive later this week. Newly-signed substitute player Luc Mbah a Moute and player development coach John Lucas also did not travel with the rest of the Rockets, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • 35-year-old Rockets forward/center and defensive stalwart P.J. Tucker has indicated that he would like an extension on his current four-year contract, which expires after the 2020/21 season, per Fox 26 Houston’s Mark Berman (Twitter link). “I want to retire as a Houston Rocket,” Tucker said. “The fans, the city have embraced me since day one. So fingers crossed, I hope we can strike a deal and get it done.”
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17 thoughts on “Rockets Notes: D’Antoni, Travel Details, Tucker

  1. Steven St Croix

    Tuck has earned and extension as long as it’s half the deal his is on now, give it to the man. Even a little higher AAV. And if they can bring back Ariza, they would be there with LAC and LAL.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      He’ll be 36 when his contract runs out in 2021, any extension he gets at that age will have to be very team-friendly. Maybe 2 years for $8M total.

  2. mlbnyyfan

    Ariza never should of left much like Iggy on GS. Having great role players who can defend and shoot the 3 is very important on any championship team.

    • When a role player is offered starter money that role player will take it. No choice but the role player to leave.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Right. Or in Draymond’s case they take the $100M and stay.

        • El Don

          If you consider Dray as a role player, without a doubt he is gotta be the best role player in the league’s history. IMO he is a star, as a matter of fact I enjoy much more his playing style than Steph’s or Klay’s!

          • harden-westbrook-mvps

            Star players don’t average 9 PPG throughout their careers. He is a great defender and facilitator, and an extremely important part of what the Warriors do. But he’s much closer to being a role player than a star.

            • Reflect

              First I think you’re really undervaluing the importance of defense. Second, one big reason he’s averaging 9 ppg for his career is because his career has been spent alongside one of the best collective scoring units in history.

              Even Harden would shoot less if his teammates were Curry, Klay, and Durant.

              • Reflect, have you ever seen Draymond Green drive to the basket and try to score? Exactly, it doesn’t happen. Occasionally on a fast-break he’ll get a bucket and occasionally he’ll get a tip-in and occasionally he’ll hit at 3.. but not much of that lately either. He is a role player. Absolutely a role player.

                His role on the Warriors is huge.. they would be in a very very bad place without Draymond Green. The role he plays on the Warriors is massive. But he’s a role player.

              • harden-westbrook-mvps

                Draymond played all of two seasons with KD. David Lee was starting ahead of Green in Draymond’s first two seasons and averaged over 18 PPG both seasons. Lee had no trouble finding scoring opportunities alongside the Splash Brothers. Draymond is a role player, just like PJ Tucker. The only difference is Tucker isn’t wildly overpaid.

                • The Warriors didn’t have Clint capela patrolling the paint. They needed to pay green for everything he does. He’s the captain of Defense especially vocally. I think he’s a bargain and he’s proved it with championships. They don’t win anything without green. I don’t know if that’s saying much because they don’t win anything without Andre Iguodala and they don’t win anything without Klay Thompson. Such a great Squad, the Stars really lined up on that team.

    • Afk711

      Ariza keeps getting paid starter money. Houston had no choice but to let him walk. You can only have so many “glue” guys. PJ Tucker is enough.

  3. Sillivan

    Rockets have 4 not traveling to Orlando.

    This is my complete speculation after reading Adrian Wojnarowski word

    One Western Conference playoff team had four positives in past few weeks, per sources.

    — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2020

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      One of the four not traveling with the team is an assistant coach.

      Plus another one of them, Mbah a Moute, just signed this week.

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          Let it go dude. That report was 2 1/2 weeks ago, so anyone who tested positive back then it probably just fine by now.

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