Last month, it appeared that Mike D’Antoni wasn’t going to receive a new contract with the Houston Rockets.
However, it looks like that stance is going to change. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the Rockets have spoken to D’Antoni once again and are nearing an agreement on a contract extension.
The Houston Rockets and Mike D’Antoni have rekindled discussions about a contract extension for the head coach and are nearing an agreement, sources told ESPN on Saturday.
Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has agreed to eliminate the buyout language that was the primary reason that D’Antoni and his agent, Warren LeGarie, ended talks on May 30, sources said.
Fertitta and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey visited D’Antoni at his offseason home in West Virginia this week to smooth over any hard feelings. LeGarie was not part of those discussions and told ESPN that a deal still needs to be worked out through him.
This comes just over a week after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that D’Antoni would not continue his contract extension negotiations with the Rockets. The final year of his current deal runs through the 2019-20 season.
The problems with the negotiation process between both sides were stemming from the idea that the Rockets want to give D’Antoni an extension with performance-based incentives. In the case of D’Antoni, he doesn’t seem to want earnings based upon how he performs moving forward, considering he’s won a Coach of the Year award and has led Houston to one Western Conference finals appearance in his three years with the franchise.
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle indicates that D’Antoni wanted to add just one year to his current deal. In addition, owner Tilman Fertitta offered D’Antoni a one-year contract extension that was worth $5 million plus $1 million per round that the Rockets won in the postseason.
While the Rockets have had tremendous success under D’Antoni, they’re a franchise that is currently in flux. Two key assistants, Jeff Bzdelik and Roy Rogers, were informed that they wouldn’t be brought back for next season. Furthermore, the Rockets have made it clear that everyone, with the exception of James Harden, is on the trade block.