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Los Angeles Clippers not retaining Vinny Del Negro

The Los Angeles Clippers will not offer Vinny Del Negro a new contract to return as coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

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Vinny Del Negro guided the Clippers to their first Pacific Division title this season. (AP)

Despite considerable success and progress in his two seasons as coach, Del Negro was unable to withstand a first-round Western Conference loss to the Memphis Grizzlies and a free agent-to-be superstar, Chris Paul, who wanted a different coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Del Negro did not have a contract beyond this season.

Del Negro was informed of the decision on Tuesday afternoon.

Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins – who will be a free agent at season's end – is a candidate for the job, league sources said. Another possible target, Stan Van Gundy, has said that he plans to sit out next season. Golden State assistant Mike Malone – who worked with Paul in New Orleans – could be a candidate too, sources said.

There had been some belief that owner Donald Sterling – who has been fond of Del Negro – would decide to keep the coach, but ultimately the Clippers needed to do everything they believed necessary to re-sign Paul in July.

Under Del Negro, the Clippers won their first Pacific Division title this season and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals in the 2011-12 season. Del Negro led the Clippers to a franchise-record 17-game winning streak this season.

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