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NBA Trade Rumors: Ranking the 5 teams with coaching vacancies on how they fit with Mike D'Antoni's style

D'Antoni will take his talents elsewhere
Rupam Nag
Modified 14 Sep 2020, 11:42 IST

Mike D'Antoni and the Houston Rockets parted ways after the franchise's exit from the NBA Playoffs in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, and NBA Trade Rumors haven't ceased since.

Mike D'Antoni coached the Houston Rockets from 2016 in an attempt to build a championship-caliber team. Although they were one of the better teams in the NBA during his tenure, the Houston Rockets just couldn't manage to get over the line as one team or the other was always superior to them.

Regardless of his failure to bring an NBA title to the city of Houston, Mike D'Antoni remains a well-respected coach. He has been a coach for 30 years now and knows the trade as well as anybody else.

Mike D'Antoni's unorthodox approach has also managed to yield satisfactory results, which makes him a hot prospect for teams looking for a head coach.

Let's look at how Mike D'Antoni fits in at the 5 teams with a coaching vacancy, excluding the Houston Rockets.

NBA Trade Rumors: How do these 5 teams fit with Mike D'Antoni's style?

Also Read: NBA Trade Rumors: Nikola Vucevic would make the Golden State Warriors unstoppable again


#5 Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls have a 25+ points per game scorer in LaVine
Chicago Bulls have a 25+ points per game scorer in LaVine

After being under pressure from fans to fire Jim Boylen owing to terrible results, the Chicago Bulls finally did so and are back in the market looking for a head coach to steer them back to their glory days.

The Chicago Bulls have a decent young core in Coby White, Daniel Gafford, and Wendell Carter Jr., and are led by a star in Zach LaVine. If they can manage to draft well with the 6th overall pick they have in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Bulls' fans can be excited about the future.

However, Mike D'Antoni simply won't cut it there. D'Antoni's philosophy requires a certain kind of roster that the Chicago Bulls simply don't have at this moment, and they don't have the liberty to make wholesale changes over the off-season.

Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka and former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson have featured heavily in NBA trade rumors regarding the Bulls head coach job, and are perhaps better suited.

#4 Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has superstar potential
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has superstar potential

The Oklahoma City Thunder had a great season in which they ended up forcing a Game 7 against the Houston Rockets in the NBA Western Conference first round, only to lose out narrowly in the end.

They weren't expected to make the playoffs to begin with, let alone play well in it, and this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Thunder.

Coach Billy Donovan did a great job with the Oklahoma City Thunder's youngsters and veterans alike. But he was let go by the franchise upon the expiration of his contract - a clear indication that the front office are determined to shake things up.

As a result, Mike D'Antoni is not ideal for them. The Oklahoma City Thunder aren't going to contend any time soon, and while the thought of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander developing under Mike D'Antoni is an interesting one, this just isn't the right time or place for it.

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Published 14 Sep 2020, 11:42 IST
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