Atlantic Notes: CP3, Nash, Stevens, Hayward

After the Sixers were swept out of the first round of the 2020 playoffs, the team fired longtime head coach Brett Brown, who had survived several front office shakeups. But the on-court personnel could use some changes, too. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer makes the case for a Chris Paul trade.

Paul, an All-Star in 2020 during his first season with the Thunder, is scheduled to earn $41.3M and $44.2M in the final two years of his current contract. With the Sixers, the 35-year-old point guard could give All-Star guard/forward Ben Simmons more off-ball opportunities and serve as a first-rate facilitator for All-Star center Joel Embiid.

Pompey posits that current Sixers forward Tobias Harris or center Al Horford could be packaged (presumably along with future draft equity) into a deal for Paul.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • New Nets head coach Steve Nash acknowledges that he was brought on board with the franchise because of his interpersonal relationships and culture-building skills, rather than his knowledge of X’s and O’s. “I think they understand that my acumen for the game is strong and I can catch up on any of the tactical aspects,” Nash told Pelicans guard J.J. Redick in a recent edition of Redick’s The Old Man and the Three podcast (per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News). “I think they hired me because of my experience, the personality to work with these guys and help them grow and reach their potential and bring it all together.”
  • Following an emotional postgame locker room conversation, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens held a late-evening hotel meeting with four of his frustrated stars, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart met with Stevens to unpack their feelings following a Game 2 loss to the Heat that puts Boston in an 0-2 hole for the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is hoping to return to action for Game 3 on Saturday, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link). Hayward’s addition to the active roster would give Boston much-needed lineup flexibility and shooting help.
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37 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: CP3, Nash, Stevens, Hayward

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    The next step of The Process: make a trade to get Chris Paul. Classic.

    • thughand

      The process was put out to pasture the day Hinke was politely shoved out of the door. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    • GoLandCrabs

      Whats the Rockets next step of the process? Do the same thing over and over again and get bounced for the 9th straight year. Playoff CP3 > Westbrick.

  2. Chief Two Hands

    Paul would likely be a good fir for the Sixers, but that contract is more than an albatross, it’s a PMSing Godzilla.

    • Chief Two Hands

      A good fit on the court…I’m not sure why I thought he would be a good fir anywhere.

      • Curtisrowe

        Harris has a worse contract IMO. Paul is only 0wed 82 mill, while Harris still has like 150 mill owed to him. How crazy is that? Speaking of Firs I think Brand has been smoking too much green.

          • x%sure

            Winning teams have big contracts. If they go bad, they can be traded for other bad contracts that might fit better. Of course the exec that signed the guy might object, but Presti did not sign off on Paul’s contract.

  3. Funny to think last offseason was all about how nobody wanted the Paul contract and OKC was going to need to attach picks. This offseason he’s every teams ticket to get over the championship hump

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Adding him won’t put anyone over the hump, especially the Sixers. And anyone who trades for him without getting a couple of first rounders to take him off OKC’s hands is a great fool. 2020 was a fluke for CP3, and was the last good season of his HOF career. His troublesome hamstrings didn’t just magically heal themselves, and they will remain a huge problem for the rest of his career, no matter who he plays for. No way will he be in the 2021 All-Star game or be All-NBA next year. Zero chance, that’s a guarantee.

      • GoLandCrabs

        I’ll take exaggerated hate for 500 Alex. CP3 has missed some games with injuries but you act like he is Derrick Rose. He has been a solid mostly healthy player his whole career. Classic Rockets fan making CP3 the scapegoat for Hardens failure.

        • Chief Two Hands

          He is just bitter that the Rockets downgraded to Westbrook. He is the epitome of a blind homer.

      • x%sure

        Aww. CP averaged 58 games for Houston in 2 years but 70 in his other 13 years, & 70 last year. He played 28 of 30 games for Houston in the playoffs but how about HWMvps cry over those 2 missed.

        Somebody in Houston is paying him per post despite the lack of any sane material. But HWMvps is not helping the Rockets PR. The opposite.

  4. Sillivan

    Whoever wants to trade with 76ers
    Offer Horford first then talk

    Make all future picks available to package with Al

  5. RootedInOakland

    Why would OKC want either Tobias or Horford’s contracts as compensation for CP3? And last time I checked they had plenty of future 1st round picks, no need to add some more late 1st rounders from Philly. Elton won’t do it but clearly the move is to shop Embiid and start building around the talents of Simmons as if he were Giannis, Russ, etc. A 3 team trade that would send Embiid, Batum and Monk to OKC, Steven Adams and Mike Scott to Charlotte, and CP3 plus OKC/Charlotte picks to Philly makes sense. I think a core 6 of Simmons, CP3, Tobias, Richardson, Horford and Thybuille could make some noise and more importantly help Simmons take the next step in his game.

    • downeysoft42

      I really don’t see Charlotte doing that. Giving up a young talent and a longtime player I believe AND picks,for a decent center and mike scott?

      • hiflew

        Yeah I don’t see Charlotte adding picks to the scenario.

        I could see Charlotte trying to make a splash though. Trading Batum and Rozier for CP3. Then trading the #3 pick and Cody Zeller for Rudy Gobert (and maybe the #23 pick).

        Charlotte could use Graham with CP3 the same way OKC did SGA. Pairing the vet PG and C with young guys like Graham, Monk, Bridges, PJ, along with maybe a vet FA wing like Jordan Clarkson or Kent Bazemore would get you into the East playoffs easily.

  6. Am I wrong here? Simmons can’t shoot, so why would more ‘off-ball’ opportunities be good for him? And how would adding Paul make Simmons more of a ‘first-rate facilitator’? His strength is handling the ball and creating off the dribble, no? Adding Paul would diminish that role.

  7. Reflect

    The media love affair with CP3 is getting old quick. He’s barely even a starting player. Stop it. A bunch of clowns who didn’t even watch the Thunder all year and don’t even know who SGA is just look at the win-total and assume Chris Paul did that.

    • Chief Two Hands

      I am not a fan of Paul by any means, but you could not be more wrong.

        • mlbnyyfan

          Why would OKC take Horford or Harris for CP3. They can hopefully do better. Don’t trade him to NY.

      • Reflect

        Please name some playoff teams where he is better than the current starting 5.

        Definitely not the Nuggets, Jazz, Rockets, Warriors, Celtics, Nets, Clippers, Heat, Raptors, and thats just off the top of my head.

        • Curtisrowe

          @reflect. He was second-team All NBA this year. You think he is “barely a starting player” I am not a huge Chris Paul fan but you know…stop making yourself look silly.

          • adamsessler

            Couple things… CP3 had a great year, & while his per game stats are below career avg., advance stats tell a different story; they say that he was well-deserving of his stop on the All-NBA 2nd team, & in fact, that he was the 3rd best guard in the NBA last year… So to that point, I say agree w/ you (Curtisrowe) that the OP’s statement about CP3 is silly.

            That being said, there is a player who was voted onto 1 of the All NBA Teams who IS actually “barely a starting player”: Russell Westbrook.

            Russ got on the team by reputation & b/c his traditional stats, 27-8-7, look great, but that’s all. Advanced stats tell a completely different story. According to adv. stats, Russ would be the 27th best guard in the NBA. Saying is “barely a starter” in the NBA might be a stretch; “barely average among starting guards” is prob a better description…

            “But 27-8-7…” Yeah, I know, some of stats are good. But here’s the bad, & truly ugly… Russ is 1 of the most inefficient scorers in the NBA. His True Shooting % ranks 150 out of 195 qualified players, but despite his inefficiency, he was 2nd in the NBA in in FGA per game. He also shot under 26% from 3PT range, which is 2nd worst in the NBA among qualifiers, but that didn’t stop him from taking over 200 3PT shots last season… He’s basically a guy who can’t shoot who keeps jacking up shot after shot after shot. In years past, you might’ve excused Russ for taking so many bad shots, b/c he was often his teams’ go-to guy, meaning he would be taking the team’s highest leverage, highest pressure shots, more shots w/ the clock winding down, while being guarded by the opposing teams’ best perimeter defender or defenders. But that clearly wasn’t the case last yr. b/c Harden was obviously the team’s go-to guy.

            It’s only going to get worse for Russ as he gets older (he’s going to be 32 next mos.), & his athleticism fades, b/c Russ’s game relies so much on his freakish athleticism, but he hasn’t shown the self-awareness to adjust his game to his physical decline, as other agings stars have. People think CP3’s contract is bad? CP3 is older than Russ, & has 2 yrs. & $85M left on his deal, but at least CP3 is aging gracefully. Russ is not, & is still owed $130M over 3 yrs. Good luck w/ that HOU…

            • Reflect

              But he didn’t fall out of the sky this year; the previous years count too. He’s 35 and his recent career has had more bad years than good ones.

              If he were a lock to repeat his 2020 numbers then I would agree completely. But at his age and history (and injury history) that seems far from a guarantee.

              • adamsessler

                How has he “had more bad years than good ones…”??? His WS the last 4 yrs. have been 10.6, 10.2, 6.6, & 8.9, which ranked him 5th, 3rd, 13th, & 3rd.

                His only real “down” year was 18-19, but even then, he wasn’t bad, or even mediocre, he just wasn’t elite, as he was in his prior years.

  8. Simmons>Russ

    CP3 to the Jazz.

    CP3 Mitchell and Gobert with solid players
    Bogdanovic Clarkson Ingles ONeale
    Then use FA but already that a tough 7 man rotation

    • specialfriedrice

      Yeah I really only see Utah or Philly as teams likely to have a crack, Utah seems the most likely assuming OKC is rebuilding, wouldn’t touch Harris and Horford unless your intending on trying to compete…

        • Simmons>Russ

          No way Boston wants CP3 they have Kemba.

          Yeah I can’t see the Thunder being interested in Horford or Harris but with the Jazz they would get Conley on a expiring contract and a pick.

          Plus I think Paul would fit better in Utah

            • Simmons>Russ

              Cause Kemba is what 6 years younger?
              Plus like they just found out it’s not about who is better it’s about fit.

              They had Kyrie who is better than Kemba but they sucked and didn’t work as a team. With Kemba they have worked well. I don’t think they would trade for CP3 and risk it not working again especially considering CP3 is way older

              • hiflew

                Younger does not equal better. If so, then why don’t the Lakers trade LeBron James for the #1 pick this year? He’s 15-17 years younger.

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