Clippers Part Ways With Vinny Del Negro

4:07pm: The Clippers have officially confirmed (Twitter link) that Del Negro will not be retained as the team's head coach.

1:47pm: The Clippers have parted ways with head coach Vinny Del Negro, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). A report last week indicated that Del Negro was scheduled to meet with Clippers owner Donald Sterling over the weekend, with a decision on the coach's future to come shortly thereafter.

Del Negro's stint with the Clippers ends after three seasons and a 128-102 overall record. Led by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clips captured their first division title in franchise history in 2012/13, but had an early exit from the postseason, falling 4-2 to the Grizzlies in the first round. With Del Negro's contract set to expire next month, a change in head coaches had been anticipated.

One report last Thursday did suggest that the Clippers hadn't ruled out retaining Del Negro, perhaps in part because he wouldn't be as expensive as the possible alternatives. But rather than being a unilateral decision by Sterling, the decision on Del Negro's future was believed to be an organizational one, with Paul and Griffin also getting some input. Del Negro's departure may bode well for CP3's future in Los Angeles, since the star point guard is likely to have a voice when it comes to deciding on the team's new head coach.

Michael Malone, Alvin Gentry, and Byron Scott have been mentioned as potential replacements for the Clippers, and recent speculation has resulted in Lionel Hollins' name coming up as well, though the Grizzlies reportedly hope to extend him. As Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets, the Clippers job immediately becomes the NBA's most attractive opening, particularly if Paul re-ups, so there should be no shortage of contenders for the position.

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