The Philadelphia 76ers seemingly changed up their entire philosophy on a dime following another early departure in the NBA Playoffs. It’s led to widespread rumors that new front office head Daryl Morey will now look to reshape the roster in his mold. Could that include future Hall of Fame guard Chris Paul?
It just makes too much sense on the surface for the 76ers. Not only did Paul suit up for Morey when he was the general manager of the Houston Rockets, new 76ers head coach Doc Rivers oversaw Paul’s ascension to stardom with the Los Angeles Clippers.
At this point, the 76ers are going to need to change things up from a roster standpoint if they want to contend moving forward. With very few assets outside of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, acquiring another top-end star to team up with those two would be difficult. That’s why rumors of a larger deal in Philadelphia are unlikely to heat up next month.
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76ers rumors: Why a Chris Paul trade makes too much sense
- Paul’s relationship with Morey and Rivers can’t be ignored. There’s a reason why the Clippers sought to team those two up with one another following Morey’s departure from Houston.
- Rivers himself has worked with some big personalities in the past. That includes the likes of Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
- There’s no reason to believe that Rivers would have a hard time adjusting to working with another big three in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia 76ers roster: Chris Paul is a perfect fit
- This is a huge backdrop. Under general manager Elton Brand and the two individuals he ultimately replaced, the 76ers have struggled finding that ball-dominant point guard.
- The Markelle Fultz experiment was a failure. Meanwhile, it might now be at the point that these 76ers must move Simmons away from his more traditional ball-dominant position. After all, he continues to struggle shooting from the perimeter.
- That’s not the case when it comes to Paul. The 10-time All-Star is a career 37% shooter from three-point range. He’s also averaging 9.5 assists throughout his career. Talk about a match made in heaven.
Chris Paul’s resurgence and trade rumors
- Pretty much a salary throw in as a part of the Russell Westbrook trade ahead of the 2019-20 season, Paul put up another brilliant performance for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- Leading the team to a surprise playoff appearance, the 35-year-old Paul averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game while shooting 49% from the field.
- Despite his advanced age and high salary (more on that below), Paul could be a valuable commodity for multiple contending teams.
76ers trade rumors: How might a Chris Paul deal look?
- Paul is in the midst of a four-year, $159.7 million contract he signed with the Houston Rockets back in July of 2018. He’s set to count a combined $85.5 million against the cap over the next two seasons.
- That’s the major hiccup when it comes to a potential trade. Any trade would require the 76ers moving on from the bloated contract of Al Horford. In turn, rumors suggest this would require Philadelphia upping the ante for Oklahoma City in a potential trade.
- It’s in this that moving Horford, Josh Richardson, Shake Milton and a first-round pick could get a deal done. OKC would be adding two core players in Richardson and Milton while picking up a first-round pick. Again, the hiccup being what the 76ers might have to offer to rid themselves of Horford.
Bottom line: Chris Paul to the 76ers makes too much sense
There’s no reason to believe that the 76ers’ new brass won’t at least kick the tires on a potential Chris Paul deal. The upside outweighs the risk in a big way.
That would include Paul teaming up with the likes of Embiid and Simmons for one final NBA title run as the future Hall of Famer enters the twilight of his career.
Look for rumors to pick up on this front a lot over the next few weeks.
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Author: Vincent Frank