Chris Paul is reportedly angry at the Los Angeles Clippers for linking his name with the firing of head coach Vinny Del Negro. Chris Broussard is reporting that the incident might not prevent Paul from re-signing with the club but could cause him to look elsewhere when free agency opens.
"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."
Clippers owner Donald Sterling seems to be the culprit here after he danced around an interviewers question about why Del Negro was fired. Sterling told the reporter that it was not off base to say that the players were calling the shots. Sterling didn't call Paul by name but it was widely reported that he and other players were not pleased with Del Negro.
This is a good thing for the Atlanta Hawks because it has widely been viewed that Paul would quietly re-sign with L.A. when free agency opens this summer. That still is a possibility but if there is so much of a chink in the armor then it gives Danny Ferry and Mike Budenholzer the opportunity to sell their look for the Hawks franchise on Paul.
Also from the report:
If Paul considers leaving the Clippers, the Atlanta Hawks would be a potential landing spot. Paul always has been fond of the city of Atlanta, and the Hawks have the cap room to sign both Paul and Dwight Howard, a Lakers free agent, to lucrative contracts. Paul and Howard have spoken in the past about joining forces, but once Paul was traded to the Clippers in December 2011 and Howard was moved to the Lakers last summer, the duo figured that possibility was dead.
Howard, an Atlanta native, has been lukewarm at best about the idea of playing in his hometown. But the possibility of playing with Paul likely would get him to rethink his position.
This scenario should still be viewed as a long shot but this is exactly the type of things Atlanta needs to have happen for this plan to be put in motion.