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Mike D’Antoni’s agent and Rockets are on different pages on contract terms

By Tevin Williams
Head Coach Mike D'Antoni of the Houston Rockets looks on against the Denver Nuggets on February 1, 2019 (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
Head Coach Mike D'Antoni of the Houston Rockets looks on against the Denver Nuggets on February 1, 2019 (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Rockets’ front office said the team offered Mike D’Antoni a contract with a $5 million salary, but MDA’s agent claims that isn’t completely accurate.

Mike D’Antoni and the Rockets entered talks on a contract extension last week, but the two sides didn’t get very far. D’Antoni, who has one year left on his current deal, has expressed a desire to continue coaching for at least the next three years.

Unfortunately, D’Antoni and his camp called off negotiations with the Rockets, as the two sides were apparently too far apart to make a deal work. In a press conference on Thursday, Rockets’ owner Tilman Fertitta and GM Daryl Morey said they offered D’Antoni an extension with an annual salary of $5 million.

Rockets’ owner Tilman Ferititta joked that D’Antoni’s agent did the organization a favor by pulling out of negotiations, via KPRC 2 Houston’s Randy Mcllvoy.

here with Tilman Fertita and GM Daryl Morey on D'Antoni #rockets @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/3VBIBsFfj3

— Randy McIlvoy (@KPRC2RandyMc) May 30, 2019

“I’m just going to tell you what I think from an owner’s perspective, OK? I don’t know what lame dunk means, because he’s under contract. I think his agent did me a favor, OK? Because if for some reason we had a horrible year and thought we needed to make a coaching change, we just got through paying off one of the other coaches, I believe. So, I hope we win a championship and Mike comes and puts a gun to my head, OK?”

D’Antoni’s agent, Warren LeGarie, said that D’Antoni wasn’t exactly offered a $5 million base salary. His contract is actually largely based on the team’s performance, as he told the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen.

“I’d like clear up some inaccuracies that were stated about the offer made to Mike. 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.”

D’Antoni will make $4.5 million this year, so it’s understandable that he would be frustrated with a potential pay cut if things don’t go the right way next season.

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The fact that Houston is only willing to pay D’Antoni a similar wage to his current salary if he hits certain metrics and that the team is reportedly interested in adding Tyronn Lue to its coaching staff makes you wonder if the Rockets really are trying to push D’Antoni out.

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