UPDATE: Friday, May 31, at 9:40 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
According to ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz, the decision to fire Vinny Del Negro was made by the Clippers organization:
"The decision not to extend a contract to Vinny Del Negro was an organizational decision from the top down," Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks said. "Our front office evaluated the season and Vinny's three years here before making this move, and our conclusion and feeling was that we needed a change."
---End of update---
The news comes via ESPN's Chris Broussard, citing a "source close to the situation":
"He's angry right now and his anger is directed toward the Clippers organization," the source said. "Chris is a man of principle and if he feels like you've gone against his principles, it will affect how he feels about you. He's very agitated that his name has been put out there as the reason for Vinny's firing. He had nothing to do with it."
As always with this kind of thing, it's important to take it with a grain of salt.
There are likely several other factors in play that we don't know about—along with the question of how close this source truly is to Paul—but this is still unwanted news for Clippers fans, as the next several weeks will prove crucial.
While it's been widely assumed that Paul is going to re-sign with his current squad, Clippers fans should be hoping that the organization is doing everything in its power to retain the six-time All-Star. It's almost impossible to put his worth to the team in words.
As such, you don't want him angry with the organization over anything right now. This is an extremely delicate time and situation.
Nevertheless, there's enough time for things to smooth over. Hiring a head coach that Paul signs off on would be a good place to start.
All in all, this most recent development shouldn't completely hinder the Clippers, but they will want to avoid more situations like this and stay on Paul's good side if they want to sign him long-term.