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Clippers expected to take ‘about a week’ to make a decision on head coach Vinny Del Negro

May 4, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

Conventional wisdom said that unless the Clippers went deeper into the playoffs than they did a season ago after finishing this regular season with a franchise-best 56 wins, that the job of head coach Vinny Del Negro would be firmly placed in jeopardy.

Del Negro entered this season in the final year of his contract, and while extension talks were had early on, they never went anywhere, and both sides agreed to table the conversation until after the season.

This is by no means an unusual situation, especially in these playoffs. Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins is not signed beyond this season, and neither is P.J. Carlesimo, interim head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

But it’s always felt more serious in Del Negro’s case, for a couple of reasons.

One, it’s still unclear to most if Del Negro is capable of getting the most out of the talent on his roster. As witnessed in the series-ending loss in Memphis, his lineup choices and substitution patterns can seem erratic at times, and in this postseason, especially in Game 6, they appeared to be downright desperate.

The other reason Del Negro’s situation is different, of course, is because the franchise’s best player in Chris Paul will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Clippers will take a multi-year step backward in their development if they aren’t able to re-sign Paul, who will likely have a very large vote in determining Del Negro’s future in Los Angeles.

Despite all of the uncertainty, the Clippers aren’t going to rush into any decisions. But they will likely begin the process of evaluation fairly quickly, in hopes of putting together a successful plan for the offseason.

From Ramons Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:

Clippers sources insist no decision has been made on Del Negro yet and that this early playoff exit won’t be the only basis upon which he’s judged. The team won a franchise-record 56 games this season and Del Negro has always had a good relationship with the team’s ownership.

The team is expected to take “about a week” to evaluate the season before making a decision on Del Negro, according to one source. Officially Del Negro’s contract runs a few more months, and the Clippers have been known to take their time with such matters — interim coach Kim Hughes famously worked several months after he was dismissed as interim head coach — but “that’s not going to happen this time,” the source said.

There doesn’t seem to be any way to bring back Del Negro for next season and beyond, unless Paul were to stand up and say the only way he returns is if the team’s current head coach is retained, as well.

That doesn’t seem likely, however. Paul is as competitive as they come, and values winning above all else. That, along with Del Negro’s track record, will probably see him ousted long before Paul is set to make his own decision.

  1. mazblast - May 4, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Sign Del Negro to an extension if Paul wants it and promises to sign an extension. Wait five games into the next season and then fire Del Negro.

    “We told you we’d rehire him. We never said for how long. Now you have a contract, shut up and play.”

    • huey88 - May 4, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      That”s a good way for your star player to demand a trade..and we all know star players get what they want..not the best idea.

  2. badintent - May 4, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    56 wins. Team best. Time for Vinny to get paid. Brett has had the long knife for Vinny since pre-season. Gotta think that Viny blew off his stupid questions then and Brett not over it.Congrats to a great season.Don’t hang your heads. Grizz were loaded and ready.

  3. spthegr8 - May 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    That’s about 6 days 23 hours and 59 minutes to long!!!!! Vinny SUCKS!!!

  4. melkipershero - May 4, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    What takes a week? Hes horrible v

    • andrewproughcfe - May 5, 2013 at 12:51 AM

      That “horrible” coach is the best coach the Clips have had in decades.

      And if you fire him – who is available that has a better track record? You think you can land Phil Jackson? Possibly, since that would put him back in the same town with Jeanie Buss.

      You want one of the Van Gundy brothers? Avery Johnson?

  5. funktron2x - May 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Good old “Ramons” Shelburne. Why do you not have an editor of some sort?

  6. kb2408 - May 4, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    He may not be the second coming of Phil Jackson but he’s not the worst coach either. Until Blake becomes a true go to man in the paint, and DeAndre develop offensively, the Clips aren’t legit anyway. A team is not gonna win a title with its point guard as its best player. Of course, unless that pg is Magic or Isaiah. CP3 is great but he’s not on that level.

    • loungefly74 - May 5, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      agree, KB…oh hey…wasn’t this supposed to be the start of the “Age of Clipper dominion”? BBBWWHAHAHAHAHAAHA!…

  7. divious24 - May 4, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Bring out the AXE he’s TURRIBLE as a coach

  8. doclolly - May 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Fire him and bring in Phil Jackson they’ll make the conference finals at least

  9. dannymac17 - May 4, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Im a chargers fan. I backed vinny d but basically he is the norv turner of basketball.

    get him and chaunceys ass the hell outta here man.

  10. rabbi187 - May 4, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Clippers are a decent regular season team, but are built to win 7 game series. Blake Griffin is solid 3 feet from the basket, but pretty worthless otherwise. Chris Paul is gone after next season…

  11. davidly - May 4, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Got this backwards: the great Vinnie Delpino wouldn’t stay if you brought in Doog to run the night shift.

  12. saint1997 - May 4, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    It’s got to be one of the Van Gundys

  13. pistol7pete - May 4, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    If CP3 stays it’s b/c he’s bringing Byron Scott with him

  14. adoombray - May 4, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Chris Paul remaining in a Vinny Del Negro offense is like restricting Mozart to making music with a guitar hero guitar. That half court offense is atrocious and the clippers need to find someone who can expand the playbook further than “CP3 drives the lane” “jordan crawford jacks up a shot” “blake takes advantage of crappy defense and makes the crowd go wild with an unnecessarily ferocious dunk”. It’s like when you’re playing the video game and you call up your quick plays and its the same responses every time and Vinny never bothered to go into the settings menu to change it.

  15. yousuxxors - May 4, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    magic and Isaiah had great teams around them.

  16. realfootballfan - May 5, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Translation, we have to make sure we can get somebody better first. Of course, anyone with a pulse would be better.

  17. kanemoney - May 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Fire him. A roster this talent cannot lose a home court round 1 series. Period.

    What a terrible coach.

  18. BigBeachBall - May 6, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    Get stan…

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