NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Coaching Search for Clippers, Kings and More

Alex KayCorrespondent IMay 28, 2013

May 2, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone looks on from the bench during the fourth quarter of game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Nuggets 92-88. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It seems that more teams than usual have decided to make coaching changes this offseason, as a number of positions have opened in recent weeks.

A few of these vacancies have already been filled, but a handful of organizations around the league are still actively seeking head coaches for the upcoming 2013-14 campaign.

Let’s take a look at the latest buzz and rumors on these coaching voids, possible candidates for the openings and more floating around the ‘net in Tuesday’s rumor roundup.


Los Angeles Clippers Looking at Marquee Coaches

After the lackluster Vinny Del Negro and pitiful Mike Dunleavy eras dominated the entirety of the past decade, the Clippers owe it to their fans to bring in a capable head coach who can maximize the talent on this roster.

Neither Del Negro nor Dunleavy came anywhere close to accomplishing that goal and may have actually set back the Clips’ chances of making a deep playoff run during their respective tenures.

That could all change if owner Donald Sterling and the front office bring one of their top options aboard.

According to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, L.A. is planning to talk to former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, current broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy, Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins in the near future.

If they can’t find a way to come to terms with one of those big-name candidates, they have a short list that extends to such options as Mike Malone of the Golden State Warriors and Byron Scott, who was most recently with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Former Suns coach Alvin Gentry, who sat at the helm of the Clippers from 2000-2003—when he was fired in the middle of the season—is another name that reportedly intrigues Sterling.

Regardless of which direction the Clippers end up taking, they have to do a thorough job to ensure the coach is a fit with the roster.

Expect Chris Paul to have some serious input in the hiring process, as the superstar point guard can leave via free agency this summer if he’s unhappy with the direction the franchise is going.


Sacramento Kings, Others Targeting Michael Malone

As mentioned, Mike Malone is going to be a name you hear quite a bit this offseason as one of the top young candidates available for a head coaching gig.

The 10-year sideline veteran has spent time under Mark Jackson and the Golden State Warriors, Monty Williams and the New Orleans Hornets, and Mike Brown and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also had a short assistant coaching stint with the New York Knicks, which began back in 2003 to start his NBA career.

NBA insider Ric Bucher noted that the aforementioned Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers are just three of the teams currently interested in potentially offering the 42-year-old his first chance to run a team at this level.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each, including talent on the roster, expectations from the fans and front office, level of control given by the organization and more.

It’ll be interesting to see which club Malone gets an offer from and which he chooses if he has multiple options this offseason.


Brooklyn Nets Trying to Poach Lionel Hollins

Undeterred by Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge denying them permission to speak with his head coach, Doc Rivers, the Brooklyn Nets are reportedly ramping up for run at a Lionel Hollins, head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies.

While Hollins is still under contract until June 30, Berger notes that the Nets are primed to gauge the availability of the coach, who led his squad to the Western Conference finals.

It’ll be intriguing to see how GM Chris Wallace handles the request, assuming Brooklyn makes one, and what the Griz have in store for the most successful head man in franchise history.

The team certainly exceeded expectations by making the conference finals after trading Rudy Gay prior to the deadline, but they don’t seem to have the composition to seriously challenge for an NBA title at this juncture.

Regardless, Hollins is a proven commodity in this league and will certainly have a well-paying job lined up elsewhere if the Grizzlies elect to go in a different direction.