The LA Clippers are planning to pursue a contract extension with coach Tyronn Lue that will allow him to avoid entering the final year of his deal in 2025-26, sources told ESPN on Friday.

Lue is expected to be a target in the Los Angeles Lakers‘ coaching search and perhaps other looming vacancies.

The Clippers are trailing the Dallas Mavericks 3-2 in the Western Conference first-round playoff series, with Game 6 set for Friday (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. ET). However, the outcome of this postseason has no bearing on the Clippers’ desire to keep Lue as the franchise’s long-term coach, sources said. LA was 51-31 and the fourth seed in the Western Conference this season.

2 Related

The Clippers have been without All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard for most of the series with right knee inflammation, but the organization’s goal remains to re-sign free agents Paul George and James Harden alongside Leonard, sources said.

The Lakers offered Lue their head-coaching job in 2019, but he turned it down when the sides couldn’t agree on terms, sources said. After a year on Doc Rivers’ Clippers staff that season, Lue ascended to the head job and led the Clippers to the franchise’s first Western Conference finals berth in 2020-21.

The Clippers — who’ve suffered through numerous injuries to star players in Lue’s tenure — have advanced to the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. The team has the NBA’s sixth-best record since 2020-21 under Lue at 184-134, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Lue has spent much of his Clippers tenure adapting lineups and schemes to work around injuries to his stars. This season, Lue had to adjust a week into the regular season when the Clippers traded for Harden just three games into the season.

After the trade, the Clippers lose six straight games — including five with Harden in the lineup. But after Russell Westbrook moved to the bench, Lue and the Clippers turned their season around. At one point, they went on a 26-5 tear to stand atop the Western Conference standings on Feb. 6.

Lue earned Western Conference Coach of the Month honors for December and January.

Lue had to adapt again in April when Leonard missed the final eight games of the regular season with inflammation in his right knee. Leonard missed Game 1 before returning for Games 2 and 3. But his surgically repaired knee didn’t respond the way he had hoped, and the team has kept its star out since.

Lue, who won an NBA championship as Cleveland‘s coach in 2016, is 312-217 (.590) overall in the regular season and 52-33 (.612) in the playoffs.

ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.