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Rumor: Sixers have ‘seriously debated’ pursuing Chris Paul trade

Sixers, Chris Paul, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

The Philadelphia 76ers are debating making some serious improvements to their roster, even reportedly “seriously” debating adding an All-Star-caliber point guard in the form of veteran Chris Paul. The future Hall of Famer could be on the move after the departure of head coach Billy Donovan, with a potential rebuild on the horizon in Oklahoma City.

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Sixers have put some serious thought into adding the dime maestro, who has shown he has aged like fine wine. The 35-year-old is fresh off taking the Oklahoma City Thunder to a Game 7 against his former team, the Houston Rockets, losing merely by a bucket.

Paul doesn’t have the dazzling end-to-end speed he once possessed, but he has mastered the art of the mid-range and can still get everywhere on the court at will. He also shot 36.5% from deep this season while averaging 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.7 assists for the most clutch team in the NBA.

Adding a player like Paul, who will command $41.4 million in 2020-21 and a likely $44.2 million in 2021-22 (once he opts in) won’t come without a trade.

General manager Elton Brand has been pedal to the metal when it comes to making sizable additions, reeling in Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris last season to play next to core stars like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. After Butler left last offseason, Al Horford came aboard. Yet this star-packed roster has done little to prove itself worthy of being a championship contender.

If the Sixers are to foot the bill for an addition like Paul, they will have to make some big changes to their roster  to facilitate the move.

Harris ($34.4 million in 2020-21) and Horford ($27.5 million) are prime trade candidates if the Sixers decide to go for broke and pair Paul with Embiid and Simmons, who would have to make a permanent move to the small or power forward position upon the veteran’s arrival.