What Sixers Trades For Chris Paul and Victor Oladipo Might Look Like
We’ve got five years of Morey trade speculation to look forward to.
Adam Aaronson, whose legal name is Sixers Adam (@SixersAdam on Twitter), covers the Sixers for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez. He has been legally banned from covering the team in person, and when that ban was set to be lifted, Covid-19 struck. He believes cantaloupe is the best food in existence, and is brought to you by the Official Realtor of The Process, Adam Ksebe.
WELL, WELL, WELL.
Things are looking a bit brighter than they did a few weeks ago: Daryl Morey is in charge of the Sixers, and they have gone from a perhaps historically incompetent front office to one headed by a prolific executive who has architected several contending teams in Houston.
It’s safe to say Daryl has his work cut out for him. Even for such a creative mind, this is going to be a tricky situation to navigate. From luxury tax restrictions to roster imbalance and everything in between, Morey will need to be prepared to do exactly what he’s always done: stay open-minded, think outside the box and be ready to take a swing.
While it is far from the only obstacle in the Sixers’ way, their biggest on-court issue remains what it was before Jimmy Butler got here and what it has been since he left: the Sixers do not have a reliable perimeter playmaker, particularly one who can have the ball in their hands during end-of-game scenarios. When games slow down, their offense often buffers or turns stagnant.
Since Morey is… anyone other than Alex Rucker, Ned Cohen and Marc Eversley… he will understand that adding perimeter creation is a must. While Shake Milton has turned out to be a nice player, it would frankly be unfair to entrust him with primary ball-handling duties on a game-to-game basis.
That means the Sixers need to find an external answer to their creation issues. As we prepare for Morey to begin working his magic, it’s time to start identifying potential targets. Let’s find the Sixers a ball-handler.
Trade Package: Al Horford, Mike Scott, Matisse Thybulle, Zhaire Smith, 21st overall pick
I’ve written extensively about why Paul makes sense for the Sixers. Yes, he’s old, injury-prone and hasn’t left every team he’s played for on good terms. But he is the best player who may be on the move this offseason, and happens to fit just about everything the Sixers need: at the ends of games, he has been the best clutch-time scorer in the NBA over the last few years. He is the ultimate floor general, capable of stabilizing an offense to the greatest possible extent. Paul also makes for an enticing partner of the big-man version of Ben Simmons that we’re getting closer to seeing full-time.
I know the above package may seem like a ton to give up for someone of Paul’s age. But you have to consider that not only are you paying for Paul, you’re also paying for Oklahoma City to take Horford on their books for the next few years. If it requires Thybulle and #21, the Sixers must painfully pull the trigger.
Trade Package: Josh Richardson, Mike Scott, Zhaire Smith, 21st pick
Oladipo is a name I expect to enter mainstream trade discussions in the next few weeks. He’s one year away from unrestricted free agency, every report that comes out makes his return to Indiana seem less likely, and his $21 million salary makes for an easy trade.
Oladipo returned from a serious knee injury and did not look nearly the same. Despite all evidence that a decline may have begun, that the Sixers can merely bring him in to be an upgrade over Richardson without being totally depleted of assets makes it a risk worth taking, especially given where the Sixers are at.
Whether the Sixers try to get Paul, Oladipo or another ball-handler with the potential to be a franchise-altering difference-maker, it is absolutely imperative that they take a swing on someone who has a chance to raise their ceiling. Because what exists right now is not enough.