NBA Rumors: Chris Paul-To-Sixers Trade Possible, Al Horford As Main Trade Chip

Since the 2019 NBA offseason, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star point guard Chris Paul and his future with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Though the Thunder have expressed their desire of keeping Paul for the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season, most people still see him as one of the hottest commodities on the trade market before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. One of the teams who could express interest in acquiring Paul from the Thunder is the Philadelphia 76ers.

In his recent article, Sam Quinn of CBS Sports considered the CP3-to-Philadelphia deal as the "best-case scenario" for the Sixers before the 2020 February trade deadline. The Sixers may currently have Ben Simmons as their starting point guard, but they are still in need of a player who could provide more ball-handling and shooting without negatively affecting their performance on the defensive end of the floor. As Quinn noted, of all the potential trade targets that could address their backcourt problem, Paul is the "best" and "most attainable option" for the Sixers.

Though he's already 34, Paul would still be an incredible addition to the Sixers, giving them a pass-first All-Star caliber point guard and a very reliable scoring option next to Simmons and Joel Embiid. This season, Paul is averaging 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from beyond the arc. To acquire Paul, Quinn suggests that the Sixers could explore sending a trade package including Al Horford and future first-round picks to the Thunder.

"There's no guarantee at this point that Oklahoma City would break up what has been a surprisingly fun and effective team, but Sam Presti is a realist. Elton Brand can dangle several of his own first-round picks as well as Oklahoma City's own pick (protected 1-20) this season. Al Horford's contract isn't exactly team-friendly, but he's a fit on almost any roster, and Billy Donovan did coach him in college. Oklahoma City's future lies with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, not Paul. If dealing him now helps surround Gilgeous-Alexander with a contender later, it's something the Thunder would consider."
The potential deal may not help the Thunder free a huge chunk of their salary cap space, but it would allow them to acquire future draft picks in which they could use to add more young and promising talents on their roster. Though some people view him as a salary cap burden in Oklahoma City, Horford could help his former college coach, Billy Donovan, in the development of their young core.