The Clippers have offered their head coaching job to Vinny Del Negro, choosing the former Bulls coach over Dwane Casey to replace Mike Dunleavy, a person with knowledge of the decision confirmed to CBSSports.com.
Barring a snag in contract negotiations, it is believed that Del Negro will accept the job and get another chance to coach barely three months after the Bulls fired him amid tension between he and Bulls executive vice president John Paxson.
The Clippers issued a news release stating they've reached an agreement in principle with Del Negro and that more information would be provided Wednesday.
Despite legal haggling over money owed to Dunleavy and other former Clippers coaches by notorious owner Donald Sterling, the opening was among the most attractive in the league this summer because of the talent on the roster -- Blake Grifffin, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and Baron Davis -- plus $16.8 million in salary-cap space, enough to land one max free agent. The Clippers made a run at LeBron James last week in Cleveland, but were the only team to court the King without a head coach in place.
Unlike teams that bring in numerous candidates for interviews, the Clippers narrowed the field to Del Negro and Casey from the outset and interviewed them twice over the past week. There were indications late last week that some of the team's decision makers preferred Casey, who was passed over by the Bulls when they hired Del Negro two years ago. Casey also was a finalist for the Hawks, who hired in-house assistant Larry Drew.