2 Reasons Knicks fans should pump brakes on Joel Embiid trade dream

Feb 10, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) against the New York Knicks at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 10, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) against the New York Knicks at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

After what many consider to be a successful season, many New York Knicks fans are eager to see what Leon Rose and his staff have in store for the summer as the team aims to become a true contender in 2023-2024.

Over the last week, there’s been some buzz that the orange and blue have major interest in NBA MVP Joel Embiid, and could potentially be waiting for him to ask out of Philadelphia.

While adding an MVP to your roster is always a guarantee to be some sort of upgrade, a trade to acquire the star center simply wouldn’t be in the Knicks’ best interest and in reality would stunt the ascension that’s taken place over the last few years. Here’s a breakdown.

Trading for Joel Embiid wouldn’t be worth it for the New York Knicks

The Return Package 

If we’ve learned anything from last summer, it’s that superstars require a pretty penny in return. After it was essentially assumed that Donovan Mitchell would be a New York Knick, the reality eventually turned out to be that Leon Rose refused to meet Danny Ainge’s desires.

If Embiid truly does decide he wants out, you can only imagine what it would require to get Daryl Morey to pull the trigger on a deal.

Whether you care about draft picks or not, it is undeniable that acquiring Embiid would result in the loss of at least a handful of players in the group of Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Isaiah Hartenstein, Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, Deuce McBride, and Obi Toppin. If a sacrifice of depth is made to acquire Embiid, then the team would have to find a way to remake their bench after it was one of the most productive units in the NBA last season.

Additionally, fans have to be realistic and ask the question, ‘Would the 76ers ever, regardless of the return, allow Embiid to be a Knick?’

New York and Philadelphia were two of the top five teams in the East in 2022-23, and the hard truth is, if the University of Kansas product is dealt, the organization would likely seek a partner in the West instead. Plus, it goes both ways. Dealing a handful of capital that means a lot to the team to a division rival is very unlikely from a New York standpoint as well.

Mitchell Robinson

Another harsh comprehension that Knicks fans need to take in is that trading for Joel Embiid would be downright disrespectful to Mitchell Robinson.

After signing a four-year, $60 million extension last summer, the 24-year-old put up what many to be a career season for the Knicks which included 7.4 points, 1.8 blocks, and a career-high 9.4 rebounds per game.

Despite struggling against Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat, Mitch Rob proved that he can dominate the glass in the postseason in New York’s 4-1 first-round series win over Cleveland.

Along with this, Robinson LED the NBA this season in offensive rebounds per game with 5.0. Nobody else in the Eastern Conference averaged more than 3.0. With the three-point shooting struggles New York has experienced, Robinson’s offensive rebounding is vital to creating extra possessions and putting sufficient points on the board.

I understand Embiid is an MVP, but center is not a position of need right now and the required return for a player of that level would simply destroy the last three years of development the Knicks have put into their young core. Sure, you can argue a trade is needed to take the next step as a franchise, but the right thing to do here is ignore what’s going on in The City of Brotherly Love.