Philadelphia 76ers: Would anyone actually trade for Al Horford?

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
4 of 5
Philadelphia 76ers
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Al Horford and Mike Scott for Chris Paul and Mike Muscala

As sad as it is to say, Al Horford may have the least attractive contract in the NBA.

The second least attractive contract? That belongs to another multiple-time All-Star Chris Paul.

Real quick, is there a more decorated player of this generation than Chris Paul? He’s a nine-time All-Star, a nine-time All-Defense, an eight-time All-Pro, a four-time assist leader, and a six-time steal king. If it wasn’t for David Stern (RIP) vetoing a trade to the Lakers in favor of LA’s other team, he may very well be an NBA champion, but alas, Lob City will remain one of the NBA’s greatest what-ifs.

Simply put, the NBA is better when Chris Paul is on a good team, and the Philadelphia 76ers are one of the few teams in the NBA who may be willing to get such a deal done.

As evidenced by the decision to sign Horford, Elton Brand is unfazed by a player’s age when it comes to improving his team, and likely wouldn’t bat an eye to add a 34-year-old point guard if he thinks he’ll improve the team.

Paul can do that.

Despite being 6-foot-nothing, Paul has found impressive success both off and on the ball for the Thunder this season, including in the team’s three point guard lineup alongside Sam Hinkie‘s favorite guard Dennis Schroder, and the NBA’s longest name Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Paul averages more points a game than Horford, hits a higher percentage of his 3 pointers, and provides additional value as an offensive facilitator. Factor in that Paul averages five assists a game, 1.5 less than Horford despite their size and position differences, and it’s not hard to imagine CP3 excelling alongside Ben Simmons or in place of him as the best possible version of Trey Burke.

To make the money work, the Sixers would also have to include fan-favorite Mike Scott, but because the Thunder are loaded with player exceptions from their bevy of trades this season, they could likely get back a player like Mike Muscala to ease the burden.

Scott is a better player than Muscala, but flipping the duo yet again in a trade feels like a lateral move compared to flipping Horford and Paul.

For the Thunder, this deal makes sense because it frees up cap space now and moving forward, and gives the team a solid big man to pair with SGH moving forward. And as for the Philadelphia 76ers? Well, they get a player who better fits their offense, additional parody across their roster, and a veteran leader in the locker room, even if it means being on the hook for $44 million in 2021-22. But hey, if you’re already over the cap, why not go really over the cap?