Chris Paul Trade Rumors: 76ers Have 'Seriously Debated' Deal for Thunder Star

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2020

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) during an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

As the Philadelphia 76ers look to shift course following a disappointing first-round playoff exit, Oklahoma City Thunder star Chris Paul might be on their offseason wish list. 

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported Sixers officials have "seriously debated the idea of chasing CP3."

The Thunder are probably trading Paul at some point, and this might be the offseason it happens.

The team confirmed head coach Billy Donovan won't be back, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported, "The reality of Oklahoma City's transition toward a rebuild made it a challenge for the two sides to find a way to continue together."

Paul's value would never be higher than it is now, making it the perfect time to cash out.

The 35-year-old was excellent on the court this season, averaging 17.6 points and 6.7 assists while shooting 48.9 percent from the field. He was also the kind of veteran leader the younger Thunder players needed to further their development.

The Sixers clearly need to do something this offseason to shake up their roster. Landing Paul wouldn't be easy for general manager Elton Brand, though, thanks to Paul's $41.4 million salary for next season.

Any trade package on Philadelphia's end would almost certainly have to include Al Horford or Tobias Harris since they're set to earn $27.5 million and $34.4 million, respectively, in 2020-21.

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Even assuming the Sixers would throw in a draft pick or two, the Thunder might not be enamored with the idea of getting Horford or Harris. The former wouldn't fit with their timeline while having three years left on his contract, and Harris' deal is shaping up to be one of the worst in the NBA.

Maybe Brand can make it work with the Thunder or bring in a third team to get any trade across the line.