Clippers have chess pieces to move as Alvin Gentry departs
The Clippers have some holes to fill.
They lost associate head coach Alvin Gentry when he agreed late Thursday to take the same position with the Golden State Warriors, said NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
And the Clippers have three players who plan to opt out of their contracts — reserve forwards Glen Davis and Danny Granger, and point guard Darren Collison. Although Davis, Granger and Collison will become free agents, the officials said, all three remain interested in returning to the Clippers.
Gentry agreed to a three-year deal that will pay him over $800,000 per season to join the staff of newly-hired Golden State Coach Steve Kerr. The pair worked together in Phoenix when Kerr was general manager and Gentry was the Suns’ head coach.
Gentry also interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Utah Jazz, Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. When the Cavaliers hired David Blatt as their new coach, Gentry was asked to join the staff as the associate head coach, officials said, but he turned it down.
Last season Gentry was credited with improving the Clippers’ offense, as they averaged a league-best 107.9 points per game.
With Gentry leaving, and with Clippers assistant coach Kevin Eastman becoming the team’s vice president of basketball operations, Coach Doc Rivers has two position to fill on his bench.
Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Lawrence Frank and former New York Knicks Coach Mike Woodson are being considered for the Clippers’ openings. But it looks doubtful that Frank will join the Clippers because he’s still earning $1 million per season over the next five years from the Nets.
Meanwhile, Granger has informed the Clippers that he doesn’t plan on opting in on his 2014-15 contract that would have paid him $1.36 million.
One official said Granger likes the “winning culture” the Clippers now have under Rivers, and that’s why Granger would like to return to the team if financial terms can be agreed upon after the free-agency period begins on June 30 at 9 p.m. PDT.
Davis will opt out of his contract that would have paid him $1.4 million next season.
Collison is opting out of a deal that would have paid him $1.985 million next season.
He started 35 games last season for the Clippers, and played in 80 regular-season games, averaging 11.4 points and 3.7 assists in 25.9 minutes.
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