Source: Mike Malone on Paul’s Short List
It remains unclear what decisions the Los Angeles Clippers will make regarding the coming season for Coach Vinny Del Negro. The team has an option on the final year of his contract but have yet to publicly clarify their intentions.
Part of the decision will likely be based on the feelings of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The Clippers would like nothing more than to ink to both stars to long-term deals.
Griffin is believed to be a lock to extend beyond his rookie contract. To date, Paul has been vocally supportive of the franchise and its future.
According to a source, Chris Paul has Golden State Warriors Assistant Coach Mike Malone on his short-list of preferred Del Negro replacements.
Malone was the lead assistant with the Hornets when Paul led the team to an impressive series against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011, despite a season-ending injury to David West. Malone was also a key part of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ staff including the year they made their run to the NBA Finals in 2007.
Although Malone has yet to run a team as head coach, he’s among one of the most respected assistants in the league and will inevitably be linked to every team interviewing for a head coach (Charlotte, Orlando, etc.).
Where exactly the Clippers are in the process is unclear.
Del Negro finished a successful run with the team this last year, leading the team to the second-round after winning a difficult Game 7 on the road in Memphis.
He was brought in to advance the Clippers from mediocrity to the playoffs but with the acquisition of Paul, LA is now thinking Western Conference Finals, Finals and even championships.
Is Vinny the coach to help the team make the next step?
The Clippers’ decisions will probably come within the next few weeks.