As we draw closer to a conclusion regarding the fate of head coach Mike D’Antoni, reports have surfaced that he wants the team to pick up his option for the fourth year of his contract according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
During conversations with the Los Angeles Lakers over the past 10 days, embattled coach Mike D’Antoni has asked them to pick up the team option on the fourth year of his current contract, sources with knowledge of the situation have told ESPN.com.
Although all indications appear to be pointing to D’Antoni’s return next season, speculation continues to swirl with the Lakers brass yet to made an official decision. D’Antoni wanting the fourth year of his contract to be picked up may change the team’s stances on retaining him.
It is no secret the fans of the storied franchise want D’Antoni to move on and the search for a new head coach to begin, but the team remains reluctant to part ways. It remains unclear what the plans are for the immediate future as the Lakers head into unfamiliar territory with a high pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, considerable cap space available and an aging superstar in Kobe Bryant.
Even though the team is eager to put the pieces back together this summer, the first order of business will be to decide D’Antoni’s fate. There’s been no timetable for the decision despite reports of the team deciding to keep D’Antoni as the head coach for at least one more season.
The weeks leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery on May 20 will be interesting to say the least for the Lakers franchise. A decision on D’Antoni’s future will almost certainly be made public between now and the lottery, but until then we’ll be left with seemingly endless speculation.
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