Del Negro to meet with Sterling; Jackson turns down Nets
Vinny Del Negro will meet with Clippers owner Donald Sterling to discuss his future, and Phil Jackson told the Nets on Tuesday he does not want to coach.
Vinny Del Negro is expected to meet with Donald Sterling in the coming days to discuss his precarious future as the Clippers' coach, league sources told CBSSports.com on Tuesday.
Del Negro, whose contract expires at the end of June, could meet with the Clippers' owner next Monday or Tuesday, though the meeting hasn't been set yet, sources said.
Also on Tuesday, the Nets reached out to former Lakers coach Phil Jackson about their head coaching vacancy, league sources told CBSSports.com. As expected, Jackson stated he does not want to coach. Jackson, the only candidate the Nets have contacted so far in their search to replace fired interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, continues to seek a return to the NBA in a front-office capacity.
The Clippers won 56 games in Chris Paul's second season in L.A., but took a step back with a disappointing first-round ouster at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies, a team they beat in the first round last season before being swept by the Spurs. League sources have told CBSSports.com the Clippers plan to "explore all options" for the head coaching position, a decision that becomes even more crucial with Paul's looming free agency on July 1.
Paul is widely expected to re-sign with the Clippers, which was his plan all along when he was traded there in December 2011 with two years left on his contract. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, it was never even a remote possibility Paul would sign an extension when he could get a more lucrative five-year deal once he hit free agency.
Paul is expected to be consulted on the head coaching decision, but people familiar with his position say it is too strong to characterize the All-Star point guard as the final decision-maker in that regard.
Coaching sources expect the Clippers to cut ties with Del Negro, and there is momentum from within the organization to make a change quickly. Two people familiar with the organization's dynamics caution that Del Negro has formed a strong bond with Sterling, but it is believed there is too much momentum in favor of making a change for their relationship to save Del Negro's job.
In other coaching news, the Pistons will interview Rockets assistant J.B Bickerstaff on Wednesday for their head coaching opening -- a move first reported by Yahoo Sports. Detroit also has interviewed Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter, former Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan and Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer.
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