The Rockets have yet to offer head coach Mike D’Antoni a contract extension, and the writing appears to be on the wall as far as his future with the team.
Houston has had a lot of talent on its roster over the past few seasons, but it has yet to have punched its ticket to the NBA Finals. D’Antoni has been at the helm since 2016, and while the team has garnered a lot of wins during his tenure, they still haven’t been able to get over the hump, and it may be time to make a change, with James Harden still in his prime — assuming they don’t make a title run in the playoffs this summer.
It’s title or bust for D’Antoni and the Rockets, and given how awful they are in defensive rebounding, it’s hard to see them winning it all. Transition buckets and three-pointers can only take a team so far, and likely don’t translate to sustainable success.
As such, talk has already shifted to who the Rockets could hire for next season, with D’Antoni’s contract set to expire. A report from Sam Amick of The Athletic states that “many” people believe the 69-year-old D’Antoni will part ways with the Rockets at season’s end. Not only that, it also states that ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy is the leading candidate for the job, with Clippers assistant coach Ty Lue in the mix as well.
This makes sense, as Van Gundy coached the Rockets from 2003-07, although they never got out of the first round of the playoffs during that time. It was actually the last place he coached, so it’s plausible that he could return, after a long time away calling games in the booth.