Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul is expected to be one of the most coveted players on the trade market in the 2020 offseason. Paul may be the main reason behind the Thunder’s surprise appearance in the 2020 Playoffs, but with the team currently in the initial phase of the rebuilding process, he’s clearly an odd fit in the roster. Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, CP3 will likely receive strong interest from teams in dire need of a backcourt boost and additional star power in order to have a better chance of winning the NBA championship title next season.
One intriguing landing spot for Paul this fall is the Philadelphia 76ers. At 35, Paul obviously doesn’t fit the timeline of Sixers’ franchise cornerstones Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. However, according to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, CP3 could be the “missing piece” of Philadelphia’s championship puzzle.
The “Point God” may no longer be in his prime, but he still has plenty of gas left in his tank and would be a huge help to teams with championship aspirations like the Sixers. Paul would give the Sixers a very reliable third scoring option, playmaker, floor-spacer, and perimeter defender. This season, he averaged 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
With Paul on their roster, the Sixers could choose to move Simmons to the starting power forward position. There also wouldn’t be a problem if the former No. 1 overall pick insists on running the floor since Paul has already proved on numerous occasions that he is capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity. The arrival of Paul in the City of Brotherly Love may not be enough to make the Sixers an instant title favorite in the Eastern Conference, but it would give them a better chance of making a deep playoff run next year.
To acquire Paul, Buckley suggested that the Sixers could offer a package that includes Al Horford, Matisse Thybulle, Zhaire Smith, and a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick. The proposed scenario would undeniably be a no-brainer for the Thunder. In exchange for the aging superstar, they would be acquiring two young and promising talents in Thybulle and Smith who could join their core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, Terrance Ferguson, and Hamidou Diallo and a future draft pick that would enable them to add another talented prospect to the roster.
Horford may only be included in the deal for salary-matching purposes, but if he manages to bring back his old self in Oklahoma City, they could flip him into future draft assets before the 2021 trade deadline.