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Kupchak: D'Antoni will be back next season

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Mitch Kupchak expects Mike D'Antoni to return as coach of the Lakers next season.

USA TODAY Sports

Mike D'Antoni will be back to coach the Los Angeles Lakers' next season, or at least that appears to be the case according to general manager Mitch Kupchak. Speaking with Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Kupchak stated that "yeah, he's back" and that there have been no discussions otherwise.

D'Antoni and the Lakers put together a 40-32 record since he was brought in as head coach, and with the Lakers' victory over the Houston Rockets Wednesday night, ended the season as the seventh seed in the Western Conference.

It's been a long season for D'Antoni and the Lakers, but it appears the Lakers will give him another crack at coaching the purple and gold. An off-season to tweak the roster around the team's needs, a full training camp, and a year of familiarity could certainly help his cause. Kupchak had nothing but praise for D'Antoni, reports Bresnahan:

"He's made adjustments. He's been flexible. He's evaluated how he coaches as the season's progressed. He's listened to the players. He's very easy to work with and we think in particular since the meeting the day of the Memphis game, yeah." - Mitch Kupchak

Of course, this is the same team that publicly stood behind Mike Brown just days before firing him, and with the Lakers hitting the playoffs there's no reason to stir any controversy. There's also the matter of D'Antoni having two more years of guaranteed money ($8 million total), while still paying Brown $6 million to not coach the Lakers.

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @DrewGarrisonSBN