This week, the New York Knicks were listed by betting oddsmakers to be the No. 1 most likely landing spot for league MVP and two-time scoring champ Joel Embiid.
A couple of months ago, the Philadelphia 76ers finally looked like a championship-ready team. And then they didn’t. Now Embiid’s made some surprising comments about his future, and if a trade were to happen, it’d likely take a combination of first-round picks, Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, and Quentin Grimes.
Should the New York Knicks even want Joel Embiid?
New York has an unfortunate history of clearing the bench for just one player. This deal would really compromise the Knicks’ winning defensive culture as it currently stands.
Joel Embiid averaged 33 points per game last season. He is still heading into his prime. Now the downside: Embiid coughed up just 15 points and 8 rebounds in an elimination game against Boston, which leaves much to be desired. At just 29 years old coming off of an MVP season, the 76ers would be looking to get the most they can for him if he were made available this offseason.
The Knicks can offer a lot, but should they?
Joel Embiid in the Garden would finally give the Knicks the advantage of having the best player on the court. When was the last time New York had that? Frazier? Ewing? Not if Michael Jordan was in town that night.
With Jalen Brunson gaining more and more attention, it could be the perfect time to upgrade his sidekick. Sounds great, but here’s the bottom line:
The Knicks should only deal for Joel Embiid if it means getting rid of Julius Randle
Julius Randle costs far less than Joel Embiid. They’re both ball-dominant, ball-stopping bigs, and the playoffs demonstrated they have similar reliability in the clutch. Therefore, the only upside to trading for Embiid would be that New York could get an upgrade over Randle.