Whatever decisions the Clippers make this week regarding the status of Coach Vinny Del Negro, input of players could turn out to be a key to the process.

Del Negro, who guided the Clippers to the best record in franchise history only to be gutted by a first-round playoff loss, has reached the end of his three-year contract and the club will decide if he returns.

Whether the potential signing of free agent Chris Paul is linked directly to Del Negro's return, the opinion of the All-Star point guard and forward Blake Griffin will fit somewhere in the equation.

"We do the exit interviews for a reason," club vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks said Monday. "We want to have feedback from our players to hear what they're going to say, but whatever we do, we're going to do as an organization.

"Of course you're going to listen to your star players, you're going to listen to all of your employees and all of your players when you make these kinds of decisions, but I don't think that's unusual for teams."

Del Negro, who took the job following the Clippers' 29-53 season of 2009-10, understands that part of the deal.

"Yeah, I think all that plays a part, but those are questions for them," he said. "I enjoy working with them, they're great guys, they're incredibly talented and they're the nucleus of the team that you want to keep intact and move forward with. I've enjoyed working with them and I've seen their development."
Sacks said there is no timetable for making a decision on Del Negro's future with the Clippers, who won 56 games this season before bowing out in six games in the playoff series against Memphis.

"We'll sit down and talk with Vinny and I will go over some things for the future and discuss it with our owner (Donald Sterling) and see where we're at," Sacks said. "It's kind of early right now, we're still in the process of getting feedback from everybody and seeing how we came up short in the series.