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Who will be the next head coach of the Clippers?

The long-suffering Los Angeles Clippers are playing out the string on yet another ugly campaign. As bad as the Clippers were doing under former coach (and general manager) Mike Dunleavy, replacing him with Kim Hughes mid-season seems to have been an example of putting out a fire with gasoline. The Clippers are 5-16 under Hughes, and have allowed an embarrassing 112.3 points per 100 possessions since Hughes took the helm.

For all the struggles the Clippers have had and the front-office drama that comes from working for Donald Sterling, the Clipper job could potentially be a very tempting offer. Think about it. The Clippers have nowhere to go but up in the standings. They’ve quietly assembled a young core of Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Blake Griffin, and a high pick in this year’s draft. They have a good amount of cap space heading into the summer of 2010. And they play in the largest basketball market in America. Plus it’s Southern California. All the pieces are there for the Clippers to be an upstart team in 2010-11, and plenty of guys could want to be the guy to put them together.

Writing for ESPN Los Angeles, Kevin Arnovitz has compiled a list of potential coaching candidates for the other team in Los Angeles. The list includes big names (Jeff Van Gundy), younger guys (Dave Jorger), and even international coach Ettore Messina. The Clippers could go in a number of different directions with their coaching choice; it will be interesting to see who they ultimately decide is the best man to lead the Clippers into a new era.