In a somewhat surprising bit of Clippers news this morning, ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that Mike Woodson would not be returning to the Clippers next season.
Woodson has been with the Clippers since the start of the 2014-2015 season, and was Doc Rivers’ lead assistant the entire time. A defensively-minded presence on the bench, Woodson was a relatively successful head coach with the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks, and might be looking to be a head coach elsewhere. It’s clear he wasn’t going to move up to the head position with the Clippers, even if Doc Rivers were to go elsewhere, and Woodson was therefore probably read to move on.
The implications for the Clippers are a little more interesting. Who they choose to replace Woodson will not only have a large impact on the team and the potential schemes the Clippers might run, but could also be a glimpse at the future head coach of the Clippers, as it will be the first major coaching hire by the new front office. I would expect a somewhat younger coach to be hired rather than an older retread, although anything is possible. Either way, the Clippers’ choice of their next lead assistant should speak volumes about the direction the team is headed.
We will keep you updated with further news about the coaching search (if such information is made publicly available). Good luck Woody!
Assistant coach Mike Woodson won't be returning to the Los Angeles Clippers staff next season, league sources tell ESPN. Woodson's departure off Doc Rivers' bench will create an opening for a top-level, defensive-minded assistant.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 15, 2018