May 8, 2013, 10:33 AM EDT
It’s expected that Vinny Del Negro’s days are numbered as the coach of the Clippers. After a first-round playoff exit it’s a matter of when the axe falls not if.
The “when” may well be when Del Negro meets with Clippers owner Donald Sterling next week, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.
Vinny Del Negro is expected to meet with Donald Sterling in the coming days to discuss his precarious future as the Clippers’ coach, league sources told CBSSports.com on Tuesday.
Del Negro, whose contract expires at the end of June, could meet with the Clippers’ owner next Monday or Tuesday, though the meeting hasn’t been set yet, sources said.
While the Clippers had a regular-season best 56 wins and first ever division title, they were ousted in the first round by the Memphis Grizzlies in what was a disappointing exit for the team.
More than that, on the court there were questions about Del Negro’s simple offensive sets, inability to develop DeAndre Jordan, inconsistent defense (although they were a top 10 defense in the NBA) and whether he could lead a good team to the next level. There were also questions about whether Chris Paul — the Clippers star and free agent to be July 1, the guy they have to re-sign — wants Del Negro back.
On top of that, there was friction between Del Negro and the Los Angeles front office — it was Del Negro that pushed the Kevin Garnett trade rumors at the deadline, not the front office. And no boss likes it when you pursue and agenda other than theirs.
Rumor is the Clippers want to go big with their hire. If owner Donald Sterling is really willing to cut the check, look for them to talk to guys like Stan Van Gundy and his brother Jeff about the position.
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