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Report: Ty Lue finalizing five-year deal to become head coach of Clippers

Tyronn Lue had been an assistant under Doc Rivers before he bolted for the Sixers. Now, Lue will take over as head coach for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Assistant coaches Tyronn Lue and Sam Cassell of the LA Clippers shares a conversation before the game against the Denver Nuggets during Round Two, Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs on September 9, 2020 at the AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Tyronn Lue is finalizing a five-year deal to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday afternoon. Lue takes over for Doc Rivers, who was fired by the Clippers last month. Rivers was hired as the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers shortly after leaving L.A. Lue had worked as an assistant under Rivers during the 2019-20 season.

A few notable names will be on Ty Lue’s staff, including former Finals MVP Chauncey Billups and former NBA head coach Larry Drew.

Prior to joining the Clippers, Lue had been the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers while LeBron James was still on the team. Lue took over for David Blatt mid-way through the 2015-16 season, leading the Cavs to their first championship after defeating the Golden State Warriors in seven games. Lue led Cleveland back to the finals in 2016-17, this time losing to the Dubs. He was fired in 2018 after starting the season 0-6.

Lue played for seven teams throughout his NBA career, which spanned 1998-2009. He is best known for getting stepped over by Allen Iverson while on the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2001 NBA Finals, the only game the Sixers would take in that series. Lue the coach is known more for his relationship with the players, rather than being a fundamentals or Xs and Os type of guy. He was praised for his set pieces during the Cavaliers run at the title.

Clearly, Lue has a good enough relationship with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George otherwise the five-year contract would be perplexing. So the Clippers will head into the 2020-21 season looking to chase the elusive title many thought they’d contend for this past season. Kawhi and PG-13 both have player options after 2020-21, so it will be a very interesting first season as head coach for Lue. A lot of what he does in Year One will likely determine whether or not Leonard and George stick around.