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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Rockets GM clears up confusion about Mike D’Antoni extension offer

Mike D'Antoni

Mike D’Antoni broke off contract extension talks with the Houston Rockets last week, and there have been rumblings that the team insulted him with an offer that was low in base salary and rich in incentives. While that is partly true, general manager Daryl Morey says there has been some misinformation about the offer floating around.

The Rockets said last Thursday that D’Antoni turned down an offer that would have paid him $5 million per year. D’Antoni’s agent later claimed that is inaccurate, as the terms of the deal stated that D’Antoni would only be paid $2.5 million for the 2020-21 season if the Rockets failed to make the playoffs or he was fired before the end of the year. According to Morey, that was never the case.

Morey told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle on Monday that the only way D’Antoni would have made $2.5 million for the 2020-21 season is if he did not coach the Rockets at all. D’Antoni is still under contract through next season, so Morey says Houston’s offer to him stated that he would get $2.5 million — not $5 million — if the team decided to fire him or he resigned before the 2020-21 season. As long as he was the coach to start the year, he would have been paid the full $5 million.

The offer still included incentives, as the deal stated D’Antoni would have been paid $5 million in base salary and an additional $1 million for each playoff series won beyond the first round. As it stands now, D’Antoni is scheduled to make $4.5 million next season.

Whatever the case, you can understand why D’Antoni might feel like he has been around long enough and has enough wins under his belt that his contract should not include incentives. The highest-paid coaches in the NBA make somewhere in the $7 million range annually, and D’Antoni is probably looking for similar compensation. While it does not sound like he is as good as gone following next year, there are clearly some issues to iron out on both sides.

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