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Clippers Haven’t Ruled Out Retaining Del Negro

10:58am: Although the decision on Del Negro will be an organizational one, Paul and Blake Griffin will be consulted, a source tells Arash Markazi of, who stresses that the decision won't be made "blindly" (Twitter link).

8:16am: While it has been widely assumed that the Clippers will seek a new head coach following their first-round exit, the team hasn't ruled out the possibiity of bringing back Vinny Del Negro, according to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of The ESPN duo reports that there's a "level of interest within the organization" in giving Del Negro a contract extension rather than pursuing a replacement.

The final call on Del Negro's future will be made by owner Donald Sterling, who is considered the coach's biggest supporter in the organization, according to Stein and Shelburne. For now, team officials continue the weigh their options, with no decision reached yet. Del Negro, for his part, has reportedly drawn interest from one other team for a head coaching opening, but has only explored a return to the Clippers so far.

According to, resolution on Del Negro's future was expected to happen within a week of the Clippers' elimination, but it has dragged beyond that because Sterling likes to take his time with major decisions. Stein and Shelburne hear from sources that the longer it takes the club to announce a decision, the likelier it is that Del Negro will be back.

The Clippers' decision on Del Negro is a significant one, since it could have an effect on another decision this summer: Chris Paul's free agency. As Stein and Shelburne note, in recent years, Sterling has leaned toward hiring coaches and front office execs willing to sign short-term, inexpensive contracts, but I wonder if continuing along that path would be sending the wrong signals to CP3.

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