Report: 76ers made ‘spirited push’ to land Chris Paul, who was not interested in going to Philadelphia

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly tried to trade for Chris Paul prior to the 2020-21 NBA season.

Paul, 35, preferred to be traded to the Phoenix Suns, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

Paul’s former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, granted his wish and traded him to Phoenix instead of Philadelphia.

Sixers general manager Daryl Morey had traded for Paul back when he was with the Houston Rockets, but he was unsuccessful in acquiring the 11-time All-Star for a second time.

“Ironically, sources say Philadelphia — with Morey having taken over the Sixers’ front office just weeks before Paul was sent to the Suns, and his former Clippers coach, Doc Rivers, part of their program too — made a spirited push to land Paul,” Amick wrote. “The Sixers even believed there was some traction on a possible deal. The interest from Paul, however, was not mutual. With Paul targeting Phoenix as the best fit professionally and personally, and Presti in a much-improved negotiating position because of the way Paul had played, the Suns had won the CP sweepstakes.”

Paul has been an integral part of the Suns’ success this season and has helped lead them to a 42-17 record which is good for the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference.

As for the Sixers, they have fared well even without Paul, as they are currently tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.

It certainly would be interesting to see the two teams that wanted Paul square off in the NBA Finals this postseason.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.