Chris Paul to the Sixers? Maybe not.
On the surface, the rumors made a great deal of sense. The Sixers were/are desperate for some legitimate guard play to pair alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and Paul is arguably still the best in the game when it comes to ball-handling and ball distribution. Despite struggling in 2019 with the Rockets (which led to his eventual trade), CP3 bounced back in a big way this past season. He averaged 18 and 7, and saw himself selected to his 10th career All-Star game.
Despite the Sixers perceived interest in Paul following the conclusion of the 2020 season, the problem rests in the fact that they’re not alone. Just this past Tuesday the Phoenix Suns were announced as a potential suitor for Paul this offseason, and they’re not the only team to emerge in the CP3 sweepstakes. Both the Clippers and the Lakers have some level of interest in the veteran PG, and more teams will likely join the fun as time goes on.
For what it’s worth, the Sixers just recently hired Daryl Morey to oversee their basketball operations. Morey is a huge Paul fan, having traded for him a few years back, and would likely be intrigued at the idea of bringing him to Philadelphia. Morey is one of the more aggressive executives in the NBA, and is wildly known as someone who will do what it takes to get a deal done. While that sounds great when I write it like that, the likelihood of Morey shipping away multiple assets for a 35 year old guard seems unlikely to say the least.
If the Suns, Clippers, and Lakers all dive into a giant bidding war for the current OKC PG, it’s really hard to imagine Morey and the Sixers getting involved. With guys like Buddy Hield and Jrue Holiday also reportedly on the trade block, targeting one of them for (hopefully) a smaller cost makes way more sense in the long run.
A trio of Paul, Simmons, and Embiid would legitimately be one of the best in basketball, and the idea of CP3 just routinely chucking up lobs to Simmons in transition is enough to make any fan get excited. However, as interest continues to drum up around the league, we’re dangerously close to ruling Paul out as an unattainable asset this offseason.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire