ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has revealed via his sources that Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni will not be returning to the franchise next season.
ESPN Sources: Houston coach Mike D’Antoni is informing the franchise’s ownership today that he’s becoming a free agent and won’t return to the Rockets next season.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 13, 2020
D’Antoni said he loved the city, the fans and the organization in the Rockets’ final press conference of the season after yesterday’s loss.
But those may have been empty words from a man who definitely elevated the Rockets to contenders during his time with the team. D’Antoni’s decision to make Harden the de facto point guard unleashed The Beard’s genius on the NBA in an entirely different fashion.
Who will the Rockets hire to replace Mike D’Antoni?
There are several worthy candidates available as free agents right now. It’s a matter of offensive philosophy and fit in who Daryl Morey will appoint finally as the head coach.
The Rockets will aim to continue with their small ball experiment given how gutted their future is in terms of assets. The following former coaches are in with a chance in our view:
Jeff van Gundy – The former New York Knicks head coach, who took them to several trips of the Conference Finals and one fairytale run to the NBA Finals, is currently a broadcaster with ABC. JVG has also coached the Houston Rockets earlier, during the 2000s when they had Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady starring for the team.
Nate McMillan – The former Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers head coach is also a free agent at the moment. McMillan is famous for his defensive acumen and his ability to get players to commit to the less glamorous side of the ball. It remains to be seen, however, how much of a fit Daryl Morey considers him.
Stan van Gundy – The former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach has had his fair share of success in the NBA, but this is the first time he will be coaching 2 MVPs on the same team if he does get the job offer. van Gundy remains a great basketball mind and is likely to be a good fit with his balanced offensive philosophy.