Trading for Chris Paul would give 76ers the leadership and versatility they lack | Sixers mailbag
Even at 35, Paul is one of the league’s elite players, and the Sixers' championship window is closing. They need to win now, and change the culture. He can help them do both.
This is the 28th edition of the weekly 76ers mailbag.
Each week, Inquirer.com followers may submit questions to be answered.
Missed out on the party this week? No worries. Submit question(s) for next time by following me on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers and tweeting your inquiry with the hashtag #PompeysMailbagFlow.
Question: What are your thoughts on this idea of acquiring Chris Paul this offseason? — @Nicolefranzzzz
Answer: What up, Nicole? In regards to your question, well … um … heck yeah! I really like that idea. I’ve been a huge fan of Chris Paul since his days at West Forsyth High School in North Carolina. He’s a proven winner and a coach on the floor. The well-respected leader would be a huge asset to this team. Paul would be someone whom Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and their teammates would instantly respect. And the second-team All-NBA point guard could take some of the ballhandling duties off Simmons.
The Sixers are expected to finish no higher than seventh in the Eastern Conference next season. With Paul, they could contend for the conference title. Now, the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard has a huge price tag with $41.3M and $44.2M in the final two years of his deal.
Don’t be surprised if the Sixers think of packaging Tobias Harris ($34.3 million) or Al Horford ($27.5 million) in a deal for the 10-time All-Star and four-time first-team All-NBA selection. Even at 35, Paul is one of the league’s elite players, and the Sixers' championship window is closing. They need to win now, and change the culture. He’s equipped to help them do both.
Q: Hey, Keith, what does the Sixers organization think was missing with Brett Brown and how does that shape what they’re looking for in a new coach? Creativity, discipline, motivation, etc? — @BrianLawson15
A: What’s up, Brian, or should I say, B-Money? I hope you and the family are well. There were several things that were missing with Brown. The coach, who was fired on Aug. 24, didn’t hold players accountable and struggled to make in-game adjustments. One could argue the lack of accountability is an overall Sixers organization problem, not just a Brown one. But when you add that to his poor adjustments, it was obvious that it was time for him to go.
The new coach has to hold the players accountable and be someone the players respect. He has to be creative. The coach has to motivate the team, and he has to run a disciplined team. But he also has to be able to make in-game adjustments and put players in situations in which they’ll succeed.
The days of trying to fit players into a system instead of taking care of their strengths have to end.
Q: Are the Sixers ever going to make front office changes? If so, when and what do you expect/want to see? — @thx4noticinme
A: Thank for asking the questions. Yes, I do think the team is going to make some front-office changes. It’s kind of bizarre to me that they haven’t happened yet. It’s kind of like they’re waiting for everything to die down before deciding to keep people in place or reassign them. Even with that, I would think they make a change from a credibility standpoint. I think it will be hard for the fans to have trust in the organization moving forward if the Sixers keep people in place after they set the franchise back with poor decisions.
But that could be a decision made by a new president. The thought is whoever comes in would want to bring in his own people. In fairness, that could be the president’s decision, assuming they hire one.
The Sixers ownership loves analytics. So at least some could remain but be out of the loop in regard to decision-making. They could just be information gatherers.
Q: Who was most influential in letting Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick get away from the Sixers, thereby setting the team’s prospects back at least a couple years? The coach or someone in the front office? — @MarcTriplett
A: Great question, Marc. I will have to say that it was Brown. Brown didn’t want to coach Jimmy any longer. There are always two sides of the story. Butler’s camp continues to say that it was his decision to leave, and that there was an offer on the table. We can debate that for months. But I’m here to tell you that Brown wanted no part of coaching Butler again. He went as far as calling certain players to voice his concern and to get them on his side. Some in Ben Simmons' camp also didn’t want Butler back. Neither did a lot of the coaches.
But Brown was definitely the ring leader.
Q: Have you heard how Ime Udoka’s initial interview went with the Bulls? — @MrAnthony_P
A: What’s up, Anthony? I heard his initial interview went well. I’ve also heard that Bulls general manager Marc Eversley really likes him. Eversley was the Sixers' senior vice president of player personnel before becoming the Bulls' first Black GM.
Udoka, former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, and former Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan are among the leading candidates for the job. Udoka also interviewed for the New York Knicks' job before they hired Tom Thibodeau in July.