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Clippers top assistant Mike Woodson won’t return next season

Mike Woodson

L.A. Clippers top assistant Mike Woodson will not return under head coach Doc Rivers next season, according to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

As Rivers is nearing talks to stay with the Clippers, Woodson’s departure will create an opening for a top-level defensive-minded assistant, while Woodson could throw in his hat in the race for a coaching job.

Woodson, though, is late for that race, with the likes of Mike Budenholzer and the recently-fired Dwane Casey emerging as potential big names in candidacy. For what it is worth, even if he isn’t directly linked to head coaching jobs at the moment, he should be a favorite for many other top assistant jobs in the league.

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors are two of the most-desired jobs available in what has been a coaching carrousel after the end of the regular season, with teams like the New York Knicks, the Phoenix Suns, and the Charlotte Hornets having found the right fit.

The Clippers are building off a season with plenty of change, after trading away their All-Star point guard Chris Paul and later their newly-signed franchise cog Blake Griffin, planting plenty of new faces within the organization.

Woodson was among those familiar faces, but one that won’t be around the team any longer, likely bringing even more change in what has been shaping to be a complete re-tooling of this hollowed out roster, with only DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers, and Wesley Johnson as some of the only original pieces remaining.