Vinny Del Negro out as LA Clippers coach


The Clippers opted not to offer a new contract to Del Negro, whose current deal will expire on June 30, ESPN reports.

"We would like to thank Vinny for everything he did during his three years with the organization," said Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks in a statement. "Vinny helped this team win a Pacific Division title and we greatly appreciate all that he and his staff helped us accomplish. This was a difficult decision, but we feel this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward."

Del Negro led the Clippers to a franchise-record 56 wins this season, a 17-game winning streak and the first-ever Pacific Division title.

The Clippers were eliminated in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs, losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in six games after taking a 2-0 series lead.

Del Negro went 128-102 in three seasons as the Clippers coach and owns a 210-184 career record with Los Angeles and the Chicago Bulls.

The Clippers have six unrestricted free agents, including key players Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Matt Barnes. During a news conference earlier this month, Sacks said the team's priority is re-signing Paul.

"I think he's an integral part of this. We feel like we had a great partnership for the last couple of years, and we want to continue it, obviously," Sacks said of Paul.

Coaching staff cannot talk to free agents until July 1.

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