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The Los Angeles Clippers were bounced from the first round of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks after a 114-101 loss in Game 6 Friday night. And while the sting of losing is still likely there for the players and coaches, the Clippers are already looking ahead, primarily as it pertains to coach Ty Lue. The Clippers are reportedly looking at signing Lue to a contract extension, per ESPN, one that would take him further than the 2025-26 season, which is when his current deal is set to expire.

That news comes after the Lakers announced the dismissal of coach Darvin Ham on Friday, and reports that they would look at possibly trying to bring in Lue to fill the void. Lue is one of the top coaches in the league today with a 312-217 career record and a track record of regularly appearing in the playoffs, highlighted by a 2016 championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers. There's surely a number of teams that would love to have him, but he told reporters following Friday night's loss that he's not interested in bouncing around to different teams. Lue was asked if he expected to remain with the Clippers on a long-term basis, to which he said that's his hope.

"I hope so," Lue said. "I didn't come here to bounce around and go all over the place. Mr. [Steve] Ballmer, Lawrence [Frank], Mark [Hughes], Trent [Redden], Gillian [Zucker] they've all been great to me. This is where I want to be, and hopefully, they feel the same way. Haven't had a better experience since I've been here. Mr. Ballmer showed me a lot of different things that I wouldn't be privy to if I wasn't here."

Lue first joined the Clippers coaching staff as an assistant under Doc Rivers in 2019. Following Rivers' dismissal after the 2019-2020 season, Lue was elevated to head coach. He immediately made an impact, leading L.A. to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history. He's made the playoffs in three out of the four seasons he's been head coach, and the lone year the Clippers missed it was because Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were sidelined for all or most of the season. 

Lue has compiled a 184-134 record with the Clippers despite getting bounced in the first round of the postseason for the second straight season. Injuries definitely played a part. This season, it was Leonard who missed four of L.A.'s playoff games against Dallas due to knee inflammation, and last season, they lost in five games to the Phoenix Suns with George out for the entire series and Leonard missing three of the five games. Injuries have been L.A.'s greatest weakness since Lue has been the coach, but when the team is healthy they're amongst the best in the league.

Looking ahead to this offseason, in addition to trying to sign Lue to an extension, the Clippers also have decisions to make about George and James Harden. Both players will be unrestricted free agents, and L.A. will have to figure out how much they want to sign both players for. George is expected to garner attention from several teams, including the 76ers, Magic and Pacers, and given that the Clippers haven't signed George to an extension, it hints that perhaps they don't agree on the dollar amount being offered. George could be tempted to sign elsewhere which would put L.A. in a precarious spot, and that's not even getting to how they value Harden. 

Signing Lue to an extension is the smart move for a team that still has championship expectations -- when healthy -- but it's just one of several major decisions the Clippers will face this summer.