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Clipper update: Coaching candidate(s)

June 23, 2010 | 12:54 pm

Taking a break from the world of mock drafts …

There are, after all, a couple of NBA teams still without a coach, including one local franchise.

(Note: Any Phil Jackson/Laker conversation and guesswork does not enter this equation.)

This is about the Clippers’ vacant position. They haven’t felt the need to rush, doing their due diligence about candidates while other pieces fall into place around the league. The spot could be filled after the free-agency period is underway in July.

Yet some clarity has emerged during the process of the Clippers doing their homework around the league, and several names, some familiar and other surprising ones, have come to the forefront.

According to league sources, they are interested in, in no particular order, Dallas assistant coach Dwane Casey; ex-Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro; former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson; former Minnesota executive and Hall of Famer Kevin McHale; ESPN’s Mark Jackson, who played for the Clippers; and possibly Utah assistant Tyrone Corbin.

McHale, who coached the Timberwolves twice on an interim basis, has been picking up traction. He had informal discussions with the Bulls before they filled their coaching vacancy and was believed to have interviewed with the Cavaliers.

He would also be considered the odd-on favorite to replace Boston coach Doc Rivers should Rivers decide to step aside and return to Orlando for family reasons.

Del Negro is coming off back-to-back playoff appearances in Chicago, and Woodson the same with the Hawks. Casey’s name has been prominent all spring, and he was a finalist for the Hawks job recently filled by Larry Drew. More important, he has head-coaching experience in the NBA, having been at Minnesota for a season and a half, and incidentally, followed McHale after one of the interim coaching stints.

— Lisa Dillman