The New York Knicks have been holding out hope that Philadelphia’s uncertain future would lead to the 2022-23 NBA MVP requesting a trade. Joel Embiid has been nothing but loyal to the Sixers since he was drafted in 2014, which makes his recent comments all the more surprising.
Without a doubt, Embiid is a star trade target for the Knicks. New York didn’t trade for Donovan Mitchell last summer and this summer, the front office was turned off by Paul George wanting to sign a max extension and the Clippers’ asking price for the 33-year-old. Knicks fans have been waiting to learn what direction Leon Rose will go in, and Embiid might’ve just given fans that answer.
In an interview with Maverick Carter, the star center said that his main desire is to win an NBA title, “whether it’s in Philly or anywhere else.”
Knicks dream trade target Joel Embiid hints that he could be open to leaving Sixers
No, Joel Embiid did not request a trade. No, the Sixers haven’t started to listen to trade offers for Joel Embiid. Yes, it would take an absolute haul of a trade package for the Knicks to land the 29-year-old if he decided he wanted out of Philadelphia.
Daryl Morey isn’t in a great spot right now. The other star on the Sixers, James Harden, requested a trade and although he’s been spotted hanging out with his Philadelphia teammates, he reportedly still wants to go to the Clippers.
Harden’s frustrated with the way that Morey and the Sixers handled his free agency after he took a pay cut last summer so that the organization would have more flexibility.
The last thing that Morey should want is for Embiid to be frustrated, too. Embiid’s expressed his desire to have Harden return for 2023-24, so what will happen if Philadelphia does grant Harden’s wish to go to Los Angeles? Or worse, what if the Harden-Sixers situation turns into something similar to what Ben Simmons went through?
It isn’t a surprise that Embiid wants to win a championship. He already has his MVP trophy, so he’s checked that off his list. As much as it would be nice for Embiid to bring a title back to the city that he’s been in for nearly 10 years, the odds of that happening aren’t looking so great. Well, at least for Sixers fans.
For the Knicks and Leon Rose (who used to be Embiid’s agent), Embiid hitting the trade market either this offseason, before the 2024 trade deadline, or next offseason would be a dream come true. If New York waits to make its big move, and the front office has been very patient, that patience could pay off in the form of Joel Embiid.