May 24, 2013, 8:50 AM EDT
It’s a little tough to predict where the Clippers’ coaching search might lead because hiring a coach is a task owner Donald Sterling takes on personally. He has for a long time. He was the guy charmed by Vinny Del Negro and hired him when the basketball operations people wanted to go another direction (and Sterling didn’t want to let Del Negro go, either).
But wisely it looks as if they are going after a veteran coach. Chris Broussard had this tidbit at ESPN.
The Clippers, having just released Vinny Del Negro on Tuesday, are in the early stages of their search. They are high on Nate McMillan.
Byron Scott and Golden State assistant Mike Malone are also strong candidates. Both have ties to Chris Paul as they coached him in New Orleans, and Paul is believed to be fond of each of them.
CP3’s voice will carry weight in this hire, but it is Sterling that will ultimately make the call.
This should be one of the most coveted jobs out there — the Clippers are a team on the verge of contending. The coach is going to need to find a way to get more out of (or find a way to replace) DeAndre Jordan, he’s going to have to come up with a system that both wins and placates the egos on the locker room, but there is a lot to work with here. The Clippers won 56 games and the Pacific Division last season and they should still improve next year.
McMillan would seem a good fit with Paul. If Lionel Hollins becomes available he might make the list, too.
But it’s just a little tough to make predictions when the owner is handing things personally.