After another first round exit in the NBA playoffs, the Indiana Pacers decided it was time for a change at the head coach role. With Nate McMillan now gone, there has been talk about Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni being an option.
The Rockets were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers. With D’Antoni’s contract expiring, he is free to interview with other organizations around the league, including the Pacers.
According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and Adrian Wojnarowski, D’Antoni intends to consider his options regardless of whether the Rockets express interest in bringing him back. He’s considered a ‘leading candidate’ in the Pacers’ head coaching search.
D’Antoni is officially an unrestricted free agent and intends to consider his options regardless of whether the Rockets show real interest in re-signing him, sources told ESPN. He’s considered a leading candidate in the Indiana Pacers‘ search, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and is expected to have other suitors. The 69-year-old D’Antoni has no desire to retire, as he’s made clear, and hopes to coach at least another four seasons.
It will be fascinating to see what happens with the Rockets’ coaching search. There has been off-and-on talk about Houston not getting a contract extension in place with D’Antonio and that has only increased the possibility of his departure.
For the Pacers, they are heading into a tough offseason that not only involves having to find their next head coach, but also a decision on Victor Oladipo’s future with the team. The two-time All-Star has yet to return to pre-injury form and is entering the final year of his current contract.
With Oladipo, the Pacers are a middle of the pack playoff team in the Eastern Conference with somewhat of an outlook to win a first round series with better coaching. Indiana must make changes to its roster and not expect hiring a new head coach will solve most of their issues.
The Pacers will also need to determine what they want to do with the center position. Keeping both Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner seems unlikely as the team looks to modernize its roster. Especially after the success T.J. Warren experienced at the four spot in the NBA bubble.
Before any major changes come for the Pacers, it would help to know who their next head coach will be to fit around that style. Will it be Mike D’Antoni? Or will he return to the Rockets?
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