The Philadelphia 76ers were right in the mix to acquire Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
Paul had no interest in heading to Philly, though. Why? Two reasons: Doc Rivers and Daryl Morey. Rivers was Paul’s former coach and Morey his former GM. The talented point guard clearly wasn’t interested in reuniting with either.
Paul also clearly saw the potential in joining a Phoenix Suns team on the rise. The gamble paid off. The Suns are one of the best teams in the NBA.
“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, via Clutch Points. “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.”
It’s worth noting the Sixers have done just fine without Chris Paul in the lineup. Philly is sitting pretty atop the Eastern Conference with a 39-20 record.
The Suns, meanwhile, are 42-17 this season, good for second place in the Western Conference. They’re just two games behind the conference-leading Utah Jazz.
Paul has made all the difference for Phoenix this season. We’ll find out in the postseason whether he’s enough to push the Suns past conference powers like Utah and both Los Angeles teams.
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