Sources: Clippers contact candidates
The Los Angeles Clippers have contacted Brian Shaw, Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott and Alvin Gentry to gauge their interest in becoming the team's next head coach, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.
Shaw, the associate coach for the Indiana Pacers, and Van Gundy are considered the team's top choices at this point, three sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne.
Two sources confirm that the Clippers have spoken to Shaw.
The situation is fluid, however, because no formal interviews have been scheduled and owner Donald Sterling has not weighed in yet.
Van Gundy's interest level is harder to gauge, sources said, but he did not immediately rebuff the Clippers when they contacted him.
The Clippers had interest in his brother, Stan Van Gundy, as well, but Stan has signaled publicly and privately that he does not intend to coach next season.
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The Clippers have not yet spoken to former Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, but he is also a candidate, sources said. The team has yet to request permission to speak to Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, sources said.
ESPNLosAngeles.com reported earlier this week the team is contemplating asking permission to speak with a coach who is still under contract. ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard's confirmed Thursday night that coach is Denver's George Karl.Yahoo! Sports first reported the Clippers' interest in Karl.
Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks reached out to Scott via telephone this week, asking if he has interest in coaching the team, according to league sources. Scott, recently fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers, has interest in the job, a source close to the situation said.
The talks were preliminary; no offer was made and no official interview has been set up yet. A source said the Clippers' front office is putting together a list of candidates that it will take to owner Donald Sterling.
Scott, a Los Angeles native, was a championship player for the Los Angeles Lakers during their famed "Showtime" era. So hiring Scott, once considered a prime candidate to eventually coach the Lakers, could steal a bit of shine away from the Lakers.
Scott led the New Jersey Nets to consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and '03 with a team that had some similarities to these Clippers.
Like the Clippers, who are expected to re-sign free agent Chris Paul, those Nets featured a great point guard in Jason Kidd, as well as a high-flying power forward in Kenyon Martin, who could be described as a lesser version of the Clippers' Blake Griffin.
Scott also experienced playoff success while coaching Paul in New Orleans. Paul and Scott have remained close and met for a meal a few weeks ago after the Clippers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.