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Clippers Looking For Their Next Head Coach
Posted By Eric Pincus On May 21, 2013 @ 3:30 pm In NBA | No Comments
The Los Angeles Clippers will not bring back Vinny Del Negro as head coach next season.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Del Negro was notified by the team on Tuesday afternoon.
“We would like to thank Vinny for everything he did during his three years with the organization,” Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks said. “Vinny helped this team win a Pacific Division title and we greatly appreciate all that he and his staff helped us accomplish. This was a difficult decision, but we feel this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward.”
After three seasons with the team, Del Negro will leave with a 128-102 (55.7 percent) regular-season record. The Clippers 56-win mark this past year was a record under owner Donald Sterling – but the team was ousted in the first round by the Memphis Grizzlies.
The team’s top priority is keeping free agent point guard Chris Paul.
Suffice it to say, if Paul lobbied the team to retain Del Negro, odds are Del Negro would be getting a new deal with the Clippers.
Potentially available coaches include Byron Scott, Stan Van Gundy, Jeff Van Gundy, Lionel Hollins, Alvin Gentry and Phil Jackson.
Stan Van Gundy told “The David Baumann Show” that he will not coach next season. His brother Jeff is a top television analyst for ABC/ESPN.
Gentry, who previously coached the Clippers, was let go midseason by the Phoenix Suns. Sources close to Jackson maintain he doesn’t want to return to the bench.
The Clippers might have interest in high-level assistants like Mike Malone (Golden State Warriors) or Mike Budenholzer (San Antonio Spurs).
Paul’s next contract can start at $18.7 million, either with the Clippers or a team with enough cap room to afford him. Los Angeles can sign him for five years at $107.3 million. Opposing team can offer up to four years at $79.7 million.
The Clippers will quickly near the tax threshold if Paul re-signs and the team looks to sign a player with their Mid-Level Exception (MLE) of about $5 million. If L.A. climbs to $4 million above the threshold (the clock starting at an estimated $72 million), the team won’t be able to use their full MLE but a smaller version at about $3.1 million.
If Paul does re-sign, the Clippers may look to trade young point guard Eric Bledsoe for veteran help.
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