The Clippers are still fighting for their playoff lives but there are already NBA rumors that Ty Lue may be ready to leave for a new challenge.
The Los Angeles Clippers are currently 39-35, holding a slim lead on the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference. They’re also staring down the likelihood of trying to hold onto that spot over the final few weeks of the regular season without Paul George, whose injured knee could potentially even keep him out in the playoffs.
The Clippers came into this season looking, on paper, like one of a small handful of contenders. But injuries and trades have made for a chaotic season and the moments at which they’ve looked like one of the best teams in the league have been far more rare than they hoped. This is the fourth season of the Kawhi Leonard/George pairing and another disappointing playoff exit could inspire some changes.
On the first episode of the new No Cap Room podcast, Yahoo’s Jake Fischer said those changes could include the departure of head coach Ty Lue:
“There has been chatter, at least, about potentially him [Ty Lue], in theory, removing himself from the situation at a certain point in time.”
NBA rumors: Why would Ty Lue leave the Clippers?
Lue has been the Clippers’ head coach for the past three seasons and probably thought he was taking over a contender when signed on for the job. Since taking over, he’s Kawhi Leonard in the lineup for just 97 of 228 possible games. Paul George has played in just 141. There haven’t been any reports of fractured relationships or locker room problems but, at some point, it has to be frustrating as a coach to be repeatedly undone by a weakness you have no control over.
Lue has two more years on his contract but it’s not unreasonable to think hee can the Clippers could come to some sort of mutual agreement in parting ways. The Clippers would still be an attractive option for other coaching candidates. And Lue, just 45 and with a championship on his resume, would have plenty of opportunities with teams like the Pistons, Bulls, Raptors, 76ers, Magic, Rockets and Nuggets potentially making a coaching change in the next year or two.
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