The Los Angeles Clippers are expected to cut ties with head coach Vinny Del Negro following their first-round exit from the NBA playoffs, but now there are reports that the team may be considering keeping Del Negro for next season. After all, the team did win a record number of games with Del Negro running the show.
Clippers owner Donald Sterling will be the man that ultimately makes the decision and Del Negro could be the man that he believes in the most.
Sources told ESPN.com that there is a level of interest within the organization to extend Del Negro’s contract despite the widespread assumption in league circles that the embattled coach would take the fall for the Clippers’ six-game exit to the Memphis Grizzlies in Round 1….
The longer Sterling has taken to consider the situation, sources say, the more Del Negro’s chances of scoring another short-term contract have been boosted. Sterling has preferred to give short-term contracts to Clippers coaches and front-office executives after he had to pay out the remainder of former coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy‘s five-year, $22 million contract when he fired Dunleavy in 2010.
It will be interesting to see what happens on the Del Negro front this offseason.
Sterling will likely want to keep Del Negro, but it could come down to whether or not stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin want to play for Del Negro or another coach moving forward.