Indiana Pacers Rumors
A source also believes the Sixers will attempt to inquirer about Morey (Houston Rocket general manager) and Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard. The source, however, believes it’s unlikely that those candidates would be interested.
For the past several months, the expectation was that D’Antoni would be hired by the Indiana Pacers, who fired Nate McMillan on Aug. 26. Sources have said McMillan’s coaching style wore on the players. He’s a no-nonsense guy, capable of shaking players out of their comfort zones, and has strict rules.
Indiana is thought to feel that D’Antoni could turn shooting guard Victor Oladipo into James Harden 2.0, according to sources. Harden, as a Rockets shooting guard, won the 2017-18 league MVP award under D’Antoni. He’s also expected to be named a first-team All-NBA selection for the fourth straight season.
Some might think the coach and the Sixers’ mutual attraction was a negotiating ploy for both parties, and that the Sixers could use interest in D’Antoni as a way to lower Lue’s asking price of $7 million and D’Antoni could use the Sixers’ interest as a way to raise his price tag. But sources are saying he backed away from the Pacers gig because the Sixers’ interest is real.
Scott Agness: FWIW: In the latest odds for Pacers head coach, Chauncey Billups (5/2), Mike D’Antoni (7/2) and Kenny Atkinson (5/1) are the favorites, according to @betonline_ag.
Sources say there is certainly D’Antoni interest in Indiana, but the Pacers have several other candidates in mind as well. The New Orleans vacancy would make sense based on his previous history with executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin from their shared Phoenix days, but sources say that’s not expected to be a serious consideration. From there, the spotlight turns to Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and the question of whether he’ll offer D’Antoni the kind of deal that might compel him to forget about the hard feelings that came before. Sources say there have been no contract negotiations to this point.
D’Antoni said he wants to keep coaching. He has been linked to the open position with the Pacers and is expected to draw interest from the Pelicans.
D’Antoni is considered a leading candidate in the Indiana Pacers’ coaching search, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported recently. Sources told ESPN that at least one other team with a coaching vacancy has a strong interest in D’Antoni.