Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl is "unsettled" by general manager Masai Ujiri's departure, ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne reported Sunday. It has thrown his immediate status with the Nuggets somewhat in doubt, as the Clippers and Nuggets have had initial, internal conversations about Karl in relation to the Clippers' head coaching job.
Shelburne reported Karl's status with the Nuggets has changed dramatically after the team's first-round playoff exit, even after being named the NBA Coach of the Year. The Nuggets let Ujiri walk to the Toronto Raptors for a five-year, $15 million deal. And according to Shelburne, Karl could enter next season — his last season under contract — on the hot seat, even after Denver's 57-win regular season.
The Clippers meanwhile, are looking for a replacement for Vinny Del Negro, who they let go on May 21. The team is reportedly looking to attract a "big name," and Karl would fit the bill. They have already had preliminary discussions with former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott, Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw, former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry, and Jeff Van Gundy, according to reports. Aside from finding a new head coach, the Clippers are also looking to re-sign All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who becomes a free agent July 1. Any coach they choose will likely have to have his stamp of approval.