- Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior Writer
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The Indiana Pacers' season ended Monday night. It took less than 24 hours for associate head coach Brian Shaw to become a serious candidate for both the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets vacancies, sources told ESPN.
The Clippers have officially asked for and been granted permission to speak with Shaw and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, a source with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday night.
Shaw is considered the team's top choice at this point, multiple sources said. His youth, championship experience with the Los Angeles Lakers and player development skills, which have been showcased by his work with Indiana's Paul George and Lance Stephenson, have intrigued the Clippers' management and players. He also received strong reviews from Clippers forward Lamar Odom, who played under Shaw with the Lakers.
"The Pacers have been contacted by several teams since the end of the season regarding permission to speak to Brian. Several teams," Shaw's agent Jerome Stanley told ESPN on Wednesday. "Brian has not spoken to any team while the Pacers' season was ongoing. The season has ended now and he plans to speak to a few teams about potential opportunities to be head coach. He will not be commenting on anything to do with this process, or the specific teams involved. There currently are no interviews scheduled."
No candidate has formally interviewed for the Clippers' position, or met with owner Donald Sterling; the situation remains fluid. The Clippers' front office has done extensive background work on a handful of candidates: Shaw, Hollins, former Cleveland coach Byron Scott, former Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy and former Denver coach George Karl, who parted ways with the Nuggets on Thursday.
Van Gundy was previously near the top of the Clippers' search, but talks with him have cooled recently, sources said. Karl is also still under consideration. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year after leading the starless Nuggets to a franchise-record 57 wins. If he had stayed in Denver, Karl would have been in the final year of his contract with a new general manager at the helm, following Masai Ujiri's departure to Toronto.
Earlier Tuesday, ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Chris Broussard reported that the Brooklyn Nets have identified Shaw as a serious candidate for their open position. The Nets have also been granted permission to speak with Hollins, whose contract with the Grizzlies expires at the end of the month.
Hollins said Monday that he doesn't want to leave the Grizzlies but will discuss jobs with other teams if he has "no choice."
He would be an interesting choice for the Clippers after the team's recent playoff history. L.A. beat Memphis in a seven-game first-round series in 2012. The Grizzlies rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Clippers in six games this season in the first round.
The Los Angeles Clippers have identified Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw as their No. 1 choice to become the club's next head coach, a source tells ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne.