Clippers Reportedly Interested in Jeff Van Gundy as Next Head Coach

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IMay 30, 2013

HOUSTON - APRIL 23:  Coach Jeff Van Gundy of the Houston Rockets on the sidelines while playing the Utah Jazz during Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Utah Jazz during the 2007 NBA Playoffs at the Toyota Center on April 23, 2007 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The most recent name to surface as a potential candidate in the Los Angeles Clippers' search for a head coach is Jeff Van Gundy.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski has the news:

The Los Angeles Clippers reached out to Jeff Van Gundy to get a preliminary sense of his interest in discussing their head-coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

There was no discussion of setting up an interview, nor any real gauge of whether Van Gundy holds interest in the job, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Those close to Van Gundy believe that he is open to considering a return to coaching for the right opportunity.

While many may be disappointed to see Van Gundy retire as a television analyst, this has always been a possibility. The veteran head coach has attracted lots of attention since leaving the Houston Rockets in 2007. 

According to Wojnarowski, he is regarded as one of the best available head coaches on the market.

That's not exactly surprising, considering his resume. 

In 11 seasons as a head coach, Van Gundy had a career record of 430-318 (.575). He led the New York Knicks to two 50-win seasons, six playoff appearances and a spot in the NBA championship during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season. 

After resigning from the Knicks, he went to Houston and guided the Rockets to two 50-win seasons and three playoff runs in four years.

Even after a six-year hiatus from the league, he is still just 51 years old and has constantly been around the game, so a transition back to the NBA shouldn't be difficult. 

An important factor in the Clippers' search is undoubtedly finding a candidate who will be approved by superstar point guard Chris Paul, who is set to hit free agency on July 1. 

In that regard, Van Gundy may be a step behind Byron Scott, who developed a solid repertoire with Paul in New Orleans and has also been rumored as a candidate for the job, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.