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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Mike D’Antoni’s agent critical of Rockets’ contract offer

Mike D'Antoni

It’s becoming quite clear why contract negotiations between the Houston Rockets and coach Mike D’Antoni broke down.

The Rockets claimed on Thursday that D’Antoni had turned down an offer for $5 million a year, but the coach’s agent, Warren LeGarie, stated that the true value of the offer was significantly less than that.

“I’d like clear up some inaccuracies that were stated about the offer made to Mike,” LeGarie said, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “The reported $5 million is really $2.5 million because it comes with contingencies. One, it’s only $5 million if he makes the playoffs and two, if he is coaching the team at the end of the year.

“If they decide to fire Mike in the proverbial change of direction he gets $2.5 million. If there is an injury or a change in the roster construction, of which Mike has no control, he nonetheless would become a victim of it.”

LeGarie added that, while there is a $1 million bonus for each round of the playoffs Houston would reach, it does not kick in until the second round. Rockets GM Daryl Morey confirmed that this description of the offer was correct.

Even at $5 million, that salary is lower than the going rate for other veteran coaches. A $2.5 million base salary would be laughably low for a coach of D’Antoni’s caliber, and it explains why nothing got done, as the two sides are clearly very far apart. Yes, the Rockets will probably make the playoffs, but the coach can hardly be blamed for wanting more guaranteed money and security. The two sides will try again after next season, which is to be D’Antoni’s last under his current deal.

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