Everything is not going smoothly in Lob City lately. When news broke that players were arguing and growing weary of each other, you had to know the finger pointing would eventually turn to head coach Vinny Del Negro for not having the pulse of his team. Now, reports are he could be on the way out after the season and the Clippers are already eyeing his replacement.
Per ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Clippers have their sights set on former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. He explains below.
Vinny Del Negro insisted before a recent loss in Dallas that he has “a great future no matter what.” The signals are nonetheless getting louder and louder that said future won’t be at Staples Center, with Del Negro working on a flimsy one-year extension and L.A. looking nothing like the team — whether that’s due to health woes, locker-room fissures or coaching issues — that won 17 straight games in December.
But Del Negro’s well-chronicled desire for the Clips to trade for Boston’s Kevin Garnett in February, coupled with his bosses’ well-chronicled reluctance to part with both Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan in a KG deal, has spawned the impression of competing agendas behind closed doors in Clipperland. It’s also undeniably worrisome for Del Negro that, according to sources, Stan Van Gundy’s availability already has the Clippers highly intrigued.
An early playoof exit for the Clippers could stamp Del Negro’s ticket out of town. And with the team already exploring other options, perhaps regardless of what happens a new coach will be roaming the sidelines in Lob City.