Clippers Hire Vinny Del Negro

Vinny Del Negro has been given the nod to coach the Los Angeles Clippers, edging Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey for the job of leading the young team. The Clippers management said it has reached a deal with Del Negro, who was recently fired by the Chicago Bulls after two seasons.

Del Negro will get a team teeming with young talents but lacking in experience. The current Clippers players are all aged 21 and younger, except for guard Baron Davis and center Chris Kaman. Leading the young talents now under Del Negro’s wing are 2009 Draft top pick Blake Griffin and this year’s eighth pick, Al-Farouq Aminu of Wake Forest.

The Clippers are also one of those hoping to land LeBron James through free agency, having the salary-cap room to give the two-time MVP the maximum contract. The team had a dismal 29-53 win-loss record last season and missed the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 years. The Clippers last made the playoffs in the 2005-2006 season, where they lost to the Phoenix Suns in the second round.