Philadelphia 76ers: Ryan Hollins is wrong about Chris Paul

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Despite what Ryan Hollins would like you to believe, it’s virtually impossible for the Philadelphia 76ers to add Chris Paul to their roster this season.

Ryan Hollins knows more about basketball than I do.

A center/forward by trade, Hollins spent the better part of a decade in the NBA, whereas the last time I played competitive basketball was in elementary school, but that being said, he has some real wonky ideas about the Philadelphia 76ers: namely that the team should trade for Chris Paul.

Now sure, having odd takes is practically Hollins calling card at this point in his media career, as he’s also suggested that the Sixers got worse this year solely due to Jimmy Butler subtraction, or that Tobias Harris is a great defender (he’s just okay), but seemingly any chance he gets to talk about the NBA, Philadelphia, or the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s new starting point guard, he offers the same opinion on CP3’s perfect landing spot: the City of Brotherly Love.

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Only problem? It’s virtually impossible for such a trade to go down.

Barring a release from the Thunder, which in and of itself is almost impossible when you consider he has three-years and $124 million left on his contract which would have to be stretched over nine seasons, there is virtually no route to add Paul onto this current iteration of the Sixers without executing a trade.

Too bad finding a deal that works is basically impossible.

Well think about it, the Sixers aren’t going to trade Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons for a 34-year-old point guard, that’s just not going to happen. They probably wouldn’t trade Harris or Josh Richardson either, as the front office clearly prioritize adding both players to the roster this year and even gave Tobi a massive extension to stick around for the next five.

So what does that leave that’s a viable trade asset? Well, Al Horford and his $24 million a year contract, and a bunch of players making less than $5 million a year.

As an over-the-cap team, the Sixers would have to make any deal for Paul match almost dollar-for-dollar, meaning that team we need to scrounge together $35.6 million worth of cap space to even make a deal legal.

Even if Horford were to be included in such a deal, a statistical longshot when you consider the team targeted him specifically in free agency, Elton Brand would still need to scrounge up $10 million in additional contracts to make the deal work – and that’s a lot easier said than done.

Sure, the team could include Raul Neto and Kyle O’Quinn and their combined $3.7 million one-year contracts, but they’d also need to mix and match players like Mike Scott (two-years, $9.8 million), James Ennis (two-years, $4.1 million), Jonah Bolden (two-years, $7 million), Shake Milton (two-years, $7 million), Zhaire Smith (two-years, $5.6 million), and Matisse Thybulle (two-years, $5.2 million) to even make the money work.

I like Chris Paul as much as the next guy, but he’s not worth trading half of the team’s bench, plus a starter, plus draft compensation to (potentially) acquire.

Furthermore, for such a deal to go down, Philly would have to wait until winter to make it happen, as recently signed free-agents can’t be traded until December 15th, and draft selections can be traded until January 15th (though Thybulle appears untouchable at the moment). While it would be absolutely insane the trade away half the team midway through the season, how would the team even fill out the remaining roster spots and get to the league-minimum 13?

Sure, there are always a couple of buyout candidates after the trade deadline, and Philly does have future second-round picks that they could trade for veteran-minimum contract players, but why on earth would a team with championship contention hopes trade away their entire bench and a starter for the over-the-hill player who is diametrically opposed to the team’s current ‘win with size’ mantra?

Easy answer? They wouldn’t.

Next. Betting on Ben Simmons is a no-brainer. dark

While Ryan Hollins’ thought process is sound in that the Philadelphia 76ers could use a veteran point guard to both mentor Ben Simmons and help the team in the postseason, adding Chris Paul is a virtual impossibility. Having a wealth of hands-on basketball experience is certainly invaluable, but a basic understanding of the salary cap is pretty important too when suggesting a box office trade.