The Clippers have taken an ambitious approach in the early stages of their coaching search and they're eyeing names previously thought to be outside their price range such as Jeff Van Gundy, Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, and Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw, multiple sources with knowledge of the team's thinking tell Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
The Clippers also are thinking about requesting permission to speak with at least one other current NBA head coach, one source said. Former Suns coach Alvin Gentry, former Cavs coach Byron Scott, and former Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan are also on the team's radar, sources said.
There's considerable skepticism around the league that Clippers owner Donald Sterling would be willing to fork over the kind of money it would take to land Van Gundy, Hollins, or Shaw. However, Los Angeles' front office has so far been acting as though money won't be a major issue, sources said. Sterling, who still hasn't entirely shaken his reputation for being cheap, has been reluctant to sign coaches or front office staff to contracts longer than one year after he was stuck with a $13.5MM payout to former coach and GM Mike Dunleavy.
The Clippers have yet to formally request permission from the Grizzlies to speak to Hollins, but intend to soon, sources said. The Clippers will also have to wait to speak to Shaw as the Pacers won't let him talk to clubs until the club's season is over. The Clippers would prefer a coach with NBA experience, sources said, but would make an exception for Shaw. Clippers players have given strong endorsements for Shaw, including Lamar Odom.