According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, The Clippers are searching for a big-name coach for their next hire, as it’s inevitable that Vinny Del Negro will not be retained:
The consistent word in coaching circles is that the Clippers want to go “big” with their forthcoming coaching hire after what insiders continue to describe as the inevitable dismissal of Vinny Del Negro in the wake of L.A.’s first-round exit.
ESPN.com reported in April that Stan Van Gundy is near or at the top of that list. Coaching sources say the former Orlando coach, furthermore, has zero interest in the Milwaukee job and will only return to the bench next season if he gets a suitable offer from a contending team and/or a team he likes that’s based in a warm-weather city.
Co-sign completely with the list of candidates introduced by Hall of Fame writer Mark Heisler on HoopsHype.com in the event that the Clips’ interest in Van Gundy doesn’t morph into something serious: The unemployed duo of Alvin Gentry and Byron Scott and Warriors assistant Mike Malone. Chris Paul is fond of all three.
Stein also reports that Chris Paul is the superstar free agent most likely to stay in L.A.:
All indications continue to suggest that Dwight Howard is far more likely to give serious thought to leaving Hollywood than Chris Paul.
One source close to the situation said this week that there are just “too many positives” for CP3 in L.A. even in the face of a hugely disappointing Round 1 exit when it seemed that the Clips had a clear path to the Western Conference finals thanks to their 2-0 series lead over Memphis and OKC’s loss of Russell Westbrook.
Another source went so far as to predict that there’s “zero chance” of Paul giving up the fifth year and nearly $30 million extra guaranteed that he can earn only by re-signing with the Clips. The strategy there: Take the money now and worry about finding a new home via trade later if the Clips can’t build on this season’s successes to establish themselves as true title contenders.