Marc Stein of ESPN wrote: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.
Could a deep playoff run save him? Even that might not be enough entering the most critical summer in the Clippers' history, with Chris Paul becoming a free agent July 1 and Clips management having always planned to let Paul have a big say (assuming he wants one) before any coach gets another long-term deal from them.
The Clippers' many injuries this season have to be factored into any evaluation of Del Negro. Seeing so little of Chauncey Billups, in particular, has really held them back, scuttling the plan to give Paul more of the time playing off the ball he relishes and robbing L.A. of its most proven playoff performer.
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.