The Los Angeles Clippers decided not to bring back Vinny Del Negro as their head coach, and the upcoming free agency situation with Chris Paul may have a lot to do with it.
Paul, who completed his second season with the Clippers and finished fourth in league MVP voting, will be a free agent this summer. He reportedly supported a coaching change.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Paul “wanted a new coach.”
CBS Sports’ Ken Berger says Paul “was not a fan” of Del Negro.
The Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner says Paul and Blake Griffin liked Del Negro personally but had doubts about his ability to lead the team to a championship.
It seems like the reports were pretty strong across the board that CP3 supported a change.
Even though the Clippers were highly successful in December and won all their game that month as part of a franchise-record 17-game winning streak, they lost in the first-round of the playoffs. It’s likely that a better coach would be able to get more from this talented team.
Names being mentioned in connection with the head coaching job include Lionel Hollins, Jeff and/or Stan Van Gundy, Byron Scott, Larry Drew, and Alvin Gentry. Current NBA assistants Mike Malone (Warriors) and Mike Budenholzer (Spurs) have also been mentioned.