More D'Antoni

There's a pointless and fun tool that was posted amongst the SBNation brethren that allowed us to count comments by user on a post. Here's what's been produced in the weeks worth of D'Antoni talk:

Total Users: 74
Total Comments: 913
Total Threads: 3

Top 10 Commenters:
your friendly BullsBlogger 119
NBA Observer 105
alec 64
tyger1147 52
snley 52
Ozzie Montana 49
NormVanBeer 47
bullshooter 41
exult463 24
hscs 21

And after all that...still no real news. But more speculation!

 Here's the latest from K.C. Johnson, with one interesting tidbit being that it looks like Pax is cooling on Avery Johnson. But on to the D'Antoni part:

D'Antoni, by all accounts, intrigues Paxson on many levels and presents reservations on others. Those reservations go beyond money.

While Paxson is said to like D'Antoni personally and value his offensive coaching skills, D'Antoni's reputation as a lesser defensive coach is giving Paxson pause.

D'Antoni also routinely limited practice time with a veteran—and superstar-laden—Suns team. That's not to say D'Antoni couldn't change if he took over the league's youngest team in the Bulls, which his camp has stressed is his desire.

But Paxson is giving indications he might want to wait to interview candidates such as Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau. How that fits with the Suns' plans is uncertain. D'Antoni is under contract to the Suns for $8.5 million over the next two seasons, but they clearly are at an impasse philosophically with him.

On to the that money...

The Bulls on the hook next season for $4 million of the $5 million guaranteed that Scott Skiles negotiated upon his firing—even though Skiles landed the Bucks' job...D'Antoni's best-case scenario—to engage the Bulls and Knicks, with whom he also interviewed, in a bidding war—won't happen, sources said. Beyond the fact the Knicks still consider Mark Jackson a strong candidate, the Bulls, if they get past other reservations, would pay D'Antoni only on their terms. They won't get into a protracted price war.

The Bulls ranked among the league's top spenders with Skiles' salary, so nobody can call them cheap. That said, candidates beyond D'Antoni likely could be hired for half his price.

I agree that none of this means the Bulls are cheap. KC says it's beyond money, which is plausible. Or just a smokescreen and I'm the typical naive United Center patron...but I'll play that part for now. D'Antoni isn't an infallible candidate, and there are certainly real reasons to be hesitant to lock him in at a huge figure. There's no salary cap or luxury tax for hiring coaches and the Bulls have the cash, but that doesn't mean they should overpay for a guy who they think they could then also fire a couple years before the contract's up.

But while we don't know what D'Antoni is asking for, it does bother me that the money owed Skiles (guess we did get an answer) is being referenced so often, implicitly indicating it as a stumbling block regardless of D'Antoni's pricetag.

That should be considered a sunk cost, and most of it can be allocated (unofficially) in last season's budget, when they were paying Boylan with spoonfuls of PCP-laced gruel (or the monetary equivalent).

The article says that the Bulls are negotiating on their own terms. Which is fine. But it should be in terms of them and D'Antoni. Not them, D'Antoni, and Skiles.

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