This is assuming that Vinny Del Negro isn’t the Los Angeles Clippers coach come the off-season. But ESPN Insider Chris Broussard ranks the Clippers as the second most attractive coaching destination (behind the Brooklyn Nets) of all teams in position to upgrade at the position come the off-season. Here’s what he had to say:
“You’ve got a superstar [Chris Paul]; that’s the first thing. He gives you great leadership on the court. That helps you as a coach. It makes you look like a smart guy. That’s a security blanket.
“The second thing is the market. A great market and a superstar — put those two together and you’ll always be able to attract players. Players are going to want to come to play with Paul in L.A. They also have great facilities. L.A. is a hub for summer ball. As a coach with that team, if you don’t really get in the way, you’re going to have a chance to win. Now, the owner [Donald Sterling] makes it a little bit scary. Plus, their lack of tradition could worry you. But they’re headed in the right direction. Anytime you get to coach a superstar in his prime is a great opportunity. A new coach can get his career off to a great start and a [retread coach] can resurrect his career with this job.
Broussard’s spot-on about several things: having a superstar in Chris Paul, the market and the overall situation, but there’s a lot of pressure that’s gonna come with this job. For years the wrap on the Clippers was that the team couldn’t win with Vinny Del Negro leading this team so whomever replaces him (if he doesn’t come back) won’t have time for mistakes. Look at what happened to Mike Brown with the Los Angeles Lakers and Avery Johnson with the Brooklyn Nets. A poor start could end in a quick boot due to expectations especially if the coach that’s brought in is a veteran such as a Jerry Sloan, Stan Van Gundy or Byron Scott.
Overall it’s a great spot. You can’t ask for more as a head coach. The word still isn’t out on whether Del Negro will be the man or not, so until then this is the best “hypothetical” coaching destination.