Why Chris Paul didn’t want to go to Philly
Yesterday, The Athletic released an article recounting the events that led to Chris Paul being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Phoenix Suns. Paul was a favorite target amongst Sixers fans for a variety of reasons. This article confirmed the front office were also big fans and hoped to acquire Paul but ended up on the outside looking in.
According to the article, Doc Rivers, Paul’s former coach, was a big part of their campaign, but ultimately Chris decided on Phoenix over Philly. The reason being he felt it was a better fit professionally and personally and didn’t show much interest in Philly. Fans are likely up in arms about missing out on the star point guard, but there is a backstory about why CP3 didn’t want to be with the Sixers.
Back in Houston, Daryl Morey was in charge while Chris Paul was with the Rockets and new owner Tilman Fertitta came into power. Tilman wanted star power and to appease his star player James Harden, showing interest in Russell Westbrook. Morey wasn’t interested in Westbrook for logical fit reasons. During this, Morey gave Paul his word that he would not be traded. Although this is unconfirmed, it is almost certain that Fertitta forced Morey’s hand into trading Paul for the Thunder star, betraying Chris’s trust.
With that in mind, Paul likely does not trust nor like Morey and preferred another destination instead of pairing with the former Rockets GM despite it not being his fault. These waters are not uncharted, though. The incompetent owner has made the Sixers lose out on three players now, for better or worse. Fertitta held both James Harden and P.J. Tucker out of spite and moved them for lesser returns to fellow Eastern Conference contenders.
Who knows what Philly would look like if Paul were moved here or if they would be as successful, but Morey has done a fantastic job maneuvering through curveballs thrown at him. Philly is currently 39-20 and tied with the Brooklyn Nets for first in the east and faces Milwaukee later today. Paul’s Phoenix Suns are second in the west at 42-17 and beat the Sixers in a close battle on Wednesday, 116-113.
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