Los Angeles Clippers Making All the Right Moves
With the deadline to pick up Head Coach Vinny Del Negro's coaching option for next season looming over their heads last week, the Clippers made the correct move in keeping the guy around for two reasons:
One: This is a no-strings-attached move as he is only under contract through the completion of next season, so if Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were to suggest a coaching change to management after Vinny has a full pre/regular season to work with a set roster, the Clippers will almost certainly fulfill their wishes and hire a more experienced head coach.
Two: The move appeases the well-documented cheap owner Donald Sterling. First of all he has always been a fan of Vinny. Second, he has not been one to open his wallet for any unproven coach, however, with a cheap option pacing the sidelines, Donald is now free to open his wallet to retain important free agents and sign others to surround his core.
The next move the Clippers had to make was retaining Neil Olshey as the teams GM. He not only orchestrated the Chris Paul trade, he also was able to retain the ever important Eric Bledsoe while improving the depth of his roster mid-season. He managed to sign Kenyon Martin and trade Brian Cook to the Washington Wizards for sharp-shooting LA native, Nick Young. He claimed Chauncey Billups off of waivers. He brought in defensive and rebounding enforcer, Reggie Evans. Re-upping Olshey was a no-brainer, especially because he had been linked to the GM vacancy in Portland.
Neil Olshey will have a full plate in front of him and he needs to choose who to retain, chase and let roam free. With five current free agents, they will be unable to bring all back on long term deals, so his pitch needs to be flawless. Most players place long-term financial security over one-year deals and no one can blame them.