Chris Paul Trade Rumors: 76ers Made 'Spirited Push' to Land Star PG Before Suns Move

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 23, 2021

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 22:  Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns dribbles during the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on April 22, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly attempted to acquire point guard Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder this past offseason before he was ultimately dealt to the Phoenix Suns.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Sixers made a "spirited push" to acquire Paul and "believed there was some traction" before OKC sent CP3 and Abdel Nader to Phoenix for a protected 2022 first-round pick, Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome and Jalen Lecque.

While the 76ers had interest in Paul, the veteran guard reportedly didn't reciprocate and felt the Suns were the "best fit professionally and personally."

The Paul going to Phoenix instead of Philly has turned out great for both parties, as the 35-year-old star has enjoyed an excellent 2020-21 season.

In 58 games, Paul is averaging 16.0 points, 8.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.4 three-pointers made per game, plus he is shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from deep.

Most importantly, the Suns own a 42-17 record, which is good for second place in the Western Conference, just two games behind the Utah Jazz.

The Suns have not reached the playoffs since 2010, but the addition of the 11-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA selection and future Hall of Famer is going a long way toward ending that drought.

While the Sixers would have loved to have Paul, missing out on him has ended too badly for them either, as they are tied with the Brooklyn Nets for first place in the Eastern Conference at 39-20.

It is unclear how trading for Paul may have impacted the team, especially since it isn't known if the Sixers would have kept point guard Ben Simmons and played him next to CP3 or attempted to flip him for other assets.

Had Paul-to-Philadelphia happened, it would have reunited him with two people he is very familiar with.

Sixers general manager Daryl Morey was the Houston Rockets' GM during Paul's two years with the team and head coach Doc Rivers was Paul's head coach with the Los Angeles Clippers for four seasons.

The familiarity could have been a good thing, or it could have created some issues if there was any bad blood over the Rockets essentially choosing James Harden over Paul and shipping Paul to Oklahoma City.

Whatever the case, it is difficult to argue against the notion that Paul is in the ideal situation, as he has helped mold a young Suns team into a legitimate championship contender.