The Los Angeles Clippers stole the headlines in the NBA this afternoon, dismissing head coach Doc Rivers after seven seasons.
Rivers leaves behind a team that is ready to win, but also comes with some baggage. By all accounts, the Clippers lacked chemistry on the court and behind-the-scenes this season, and ultimately paid for it with a premature playoff exit.
Still, Los Angeles has a talented roster, led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and an owner that is willing to spend. It should be an attractive situation for a prospective head coach.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, there are already two coaches who qualify as "top candidates" for the Clippers. One is internal--assistant coach Ty Lue--while the other is ESPN analyst and former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy.
The 58-year-old Van Gundy owns a .575 regular season winning percentage as an NBA head coach and remains well-respected throughout the league. However, he hasn't coached since 2007, begging the question if he'd be a wise fit in LA.
As for Lue, he's clearly familiar with the team's personnel and has experience coaching and winning with big stars from his time in Cleveland. But do the Clippers want to make a clean break from Rivers' staff after some of the internal issues the team dealt with this year?
We'll see in the ensuing days and weeks.