As the National Basketball Association’s Western Conference semifinals begin, one of the coaches looking to turn continued postseason success into a payday is the head coach of the Houston Rockets, Mike D’Antoni.
Mike D’Antoni Current Contract Details
A two-time NBA Coach of the Year (2004-05 and 2016-17 seasons), D’Antoni resigned from his job as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers following the 2013-14 season. D’Antoni took the next season off then spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers. Houston inked D’Antoni to his current contract that was worth a guaranteed $15 million over three years to begin the 2016-17 season when it was signed.
After D’Antoni took the Rockets to within one game of the NBA Finals in the 2017-18 season, Houston picked up the team option in D’Antoni’s contract for a fourth season. The value of the option season, which is the 2019-20 season, has not been disclosed.
Barring an extension, D’Antoni will become a coaching “free agent” after next season, but that’s something the Rockets seem to be moving to avoid.
D’Antoni Contract Extension Status
Houston general manager Daryl Morey, who himself has just gotten a contract extension that will keep him with the Rockets through the 2023-24 season, has made it clear that he wants to do the same for D’Antoni.
Morey made it clear that he prefers to negotiate an extension during the offseason to allow everyone to focus on the task at hand. He also stated that he wants to keep D’Antoni in Houston as long as he wants to be the coach of the Rockets. Barring another franchise making a play for D’Antoni or D’Antoni simply desiring to test the open market, it’s likely that D’Antoni and Houston will announce an extension during the coming offseason.
D’Antoni Contract and Salary History
While the $5 million annual average value of his current contract isn’t bad, it’s not the most D’Antoni has made in terms of annual average value in his head coaching career. D’Antoni made $6 million in his final season with the New York Knicks (2011-12). That made him the second-highest paid coach in the NBA at the time, being overshadowed only by current Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, whose contract with the Boston Celtics at the time paid him $7 million that season.
Prior to his four seasons with the Knicks, D’Antoni had spent six seasons with the Phoenix Suns. D’Antoni was Phoenix’s head coach for the last five of those six seasons, which was his second job as an NBA head coach. D’Antoni’s first head coaching stint was in the 1998-99 season with the Denver Nuggets, after spending the prior season as an assistant in Denver.
D’Antoni may be in a position to reach his career earnings ceiling again or even surpass it in his next contract, whether that be an extension with the Rockets or a new contract with another team. If Houston can defeat the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals in the current playoffs, that accomplishment alone may propel D’Antoni back toward the top of the heap in terms of coaching salaries.