The Philadelphia 76ers are among the teams that are expected to be aggressive on the trade market this offseason. Instead of immediately giving up on their two franchise cornerstones, the Sixers are planning to continue adding quality players that would help Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid carry the team in the 2020-21 NBA season. In the past months, they have already been linked to several big names who are expected to be available on the trading block this fall, including veteran point guard Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With the Thunder heading into an inevitable rebuild, multiple signs are pointing out that they and Paul will be parting ways this offseason. Instead of wasting his remaining years in the league mentoring young players, CP3 is expected to demand a trade to a team that could give him a realistic chance of winning his first NBA title. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Sixers may consider reuniting Paul with Coach Doc Rivers and make him their “primary orchestrator” next year.
“Old friend Chris Paul is also available, and I made the case way back in January that he should be Philadelphia’s target. Now that both Doc Rivers, Paul’s former coach on the Clippers, and Morey, his former GM in Houston, are in Philadelphia a deal could make even more sense. Rivers once proved he could make it work with Paul and two bigs (Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan). The Sixers would bring a different flavor—better defense, better scoring versatility—but Paul could play a comparable role as the primary orchestrator.”
Paul and Rivers have built a good relationship during their time together on the Los Angeles Clippers. Even after CP3 was sent to the Houston Rockets, they continued to communicate with each other and Rivers revealed that they have been golfing together this past year. They may have failed to win a title with the Clippers, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing would happen when they work together again in the City of Brotherly Love.
In Philadephia, Rivers could pair the veteran point guard with Simmons and Embiid, who, according to O’Connor, have better defense and scoring versatility than his former superstar teammates Blake Griffin and De’Andre Jordan. Since his years with the Clippers, CP3 has matured and can communicate better with younger players.
The potential arrival of Paul will give the Sixers a true point guard which will enable Rivers to use Simmons as his starting power forward. It won’t also be a problem for him if Simmons wants to run the floor since he’s capable of excelling on the court even without the ball in his hands. The addition of CP3 may not be enough to make the Sixers an instant favorite to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next year, but if he meshes well with Embiid and Simmons, Philadelphia will undeniably become a tough team to face in the Eastern Conference.