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Lakers Rumors: Mike D’Antoni pushing team to guarantee his deal until 2016


Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers are confused about Mike D’Antoni’s job status.

And so is Mike D’Antoni.

Earlier this week, a reporter in West Virginia claimed that D’Antoni would be returning to coach the Lakers next season after he turned down the opportunity to coach at Marshall University. This report was later denied after L.A. based reporters said that the team had yet to meet with D’Antoni and a decision had yet to be made.

Then, on Friday night, Mark Heisler from the Orange County Register reported that the Lakers had decided to being D’Antoni back next season.

However, Heisler’s fellow reporters again stated just hours later that the Lakers had yet to make a decision on D’Antoni’s future.

So, is he staying or is he going? If D’Antoni has his way, he’ll be staying and his team option for the 2015-16 season will exercised.

Yes, Mike D’Antoni – the guy who is currently on the hot seat – wants the Los Angeles Lakers to guarantee his deal until 2016.

Crazy, right?

According to Ramona Shelburne from ESPN Los Angeles, “D’Antoni has asked [the Lakers] to pick up the team option on the fourth year of his current contract” and “has grown frustrated with the pace of the process, believing each day that his status remains unresolved further hampers his ability to successfully perform the job next season if he is retained.”

D’Antoni’s apparent reasoning for making this push is so he has “the authority to coach and ensure he won’t enter next season as a lame duck whose job security is undermined by constant speculation about his future,” Shelburne writes.

To me, this sounds like D’Antoni is asking for all or nothing: If the Lakers guarantee him two more years, he’ll definitely have $8 million coming his way and will likely have a job for at least one more season. On the other hand, it makes it easier for D’Antoni to walk away – or for the Lakers to fire him – if he is adamant on having another guaranteed year on his contract.

For what it’s worth, Marc J. Spears from Yahoo Sports claims that the Lakers are “reluctant” to exercise D’Antoni’s option for the 2015-16 season.

Spears also says that D’Antoni is hopeful that he’ll meet with the Lakers next week, at which time his future with the team will likely be determined.

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