NBA Rumors: Mike D'Antoni Has Ended Contract Extension Talks with Rockets

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2019

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Denver. The Nuggets won 136-122.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni is headed into the final year of his contract in 2019-20, but he has reportedly ended talks with management about a contract extension, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

"There are no problems," the coach said about ending talks, per Mark Berman of Fox 26. "It doesn't make me coach any different or have any more worries. So, no, it doesn't cause any problems."

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported D'Antoni was offered a raise:

Jonathan Feigen @Jonathan_Feigen

Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said D'Antoni was offered a $5 million one-year extension with an additional $1 million per round he won. The base salary is a slight raise, but under the current market of recent veteran coaches (Stotts, Casey, etc.)

D'Antoni just completed his third season with the Rockets, leading the team to a 53-29 record before falling to the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the playoffs. 

Wojnarowski previously reported (via Salman Ali of ESPN 95.7) the Rockets were looking for a "performance-based contract extension," and the two sides couldn't work out a deal.

Despite the inability to come to an agreement, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported the 68-year-old will remain in his role at least for next season and "all involved parties still want him on board."

D'Antoni could coach the team beyond the 2019-20 season, but there is suddenly a lot of uncertainty.

Additionally, the lack of a guaranteed future could cause problems beyond just the head coaching spot, as Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated noted:

Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix

Mike D’Antoni’s ability to put together a quality coaching staff will be difficult without an extension. No motivation for coaches with other jobs to jump if the Rockets job won’t be there in a year.

After a disappointing exit in the playoffs, the Rockets have a lot of questions to answer going forward.

D'Antoni joined Houston in 2016 and led the squad to 55 wins in his first year, 14 more than the previous season, which helped him take home the NBA Coach of the Year award.

In 2017-18, the Rockets had the best record in the NBA at 65-17 and were one game away from the NBA Finals before losing to the eventual champions Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.

The team took a step back this year, which is a big reason its future looks so uncertain.