Reigning MVP Joel Embiid raised eyebrows earlier this week when his comments about winning a championship in Philadelphia or “somewhere else” made the rounds on social media. Talking heads and Vegas alike immediately put the Knicks at the top of potential destinations.
Sound familiar? It should. It’s precisely the situation New York was in with Donovan Mitchell last summer.
However, the Knicks were too confident in their pole position, and another team was able to capitalize. Mitchell was seemingly stolen right out from underneath the Knicks.
The Knicks cannot let Joel Embiid slip away like Donovan Mitchell
Should Embiid officially announce that he would like to close the book on The Process in Philly, the Knicks must not sit idly by while another team swoops in. Leon Rose should aggressively pursue the dominant big man.
You know that old saying: “New York City… eight million people, eight million stories?” The same feeling could be applied to Knicks fandom. Nearly 20 thousand seats in Madison Square Garden and about 20 thousand different takes on how to build the team.
But let’s make one thing abundantly clear: If a person says the Knicks shouldn’t trade for Embiid, they are wrong. It doesn’t matter the reason.
Should they include RJ Barrett in the deal? Absolutely.
We could sit around sifting through data scraps, hoping to find a diamond nugget that outlines the kind of player Barrett could become, or we could trade Barrett for an actualized top-five player in Embiid. No one has Barrett having that kind of ceiling.
Should they include a bunch of picks? They’ll have to. Teams like the Nets and Thunder are waiting in the wings with a hoard of picks that bests what the Knicks have. Rose won’t pull off this deal without ponying up.
Only Jalen Brunson should be off-limits in a Joel Embiid trade
Should they include one of Quentin Grimes or Immanuel Quickley in a deal? Again, the Knicks will not be alone in pursuing Embiid if he’s available. They must part with pieces we all like to make a deal happen. The Sixers would seemingly want Grimes as Quickley and Tyrese Maxey could be viewed as redundant.
Isn’t this just the same old Knicks, cashing in a bunch of exciting young talent for a marquee name that won’t produce? I’m sorry that you’ve been hurt so many times. I have a question back for you, though. When was the last time the Knicks traded for a reigning MVP who was under 30?
Exactly. This isn’t Andrea Bargnani or Eddy Curry, or Antonio McDyess. It isn’t even Carmelo Anthony.
This is the Knicks adding a top-five player who is good on both ends to a core that already includes two All-NBA caliber players. Sure things don’t exist, but this would be the best the Knicks have been on paper since the 1990s.
Joel Embiid would vault the Knicks into the contention conversation
Leon Rose may be asleep, but my hunch is that he has an alarm set for this exact moment. Let’s hope he doesn’t hit snooze… again.