No, Joel Embiid hasn’t requested a trade from the Sixers. No, the Sixers haven’t shown a willingness to trade Joel Embiid (why would they?). However, the belief is that the reigning MVP will be the next big-name star to hit the trade market, which would allow the New York Knicks to pursue him at long last.
Philadelphia isn’t in the most desirable spot right now, as the team is coming off yet another loss in the second round of the playoffs, and James Harden’s future isn’t clear. The Sixers’ main priority should be to put together a championship-caliber roster around Embiid, but that has yet to happen.
If Embiid were to request a trade in the coming year, it’d happen either before the February trade deadline or next offseason. Either way, if New York is still in a position to go after the star center, expect the Knicks to be at the forefront of trade conversations.
5 events that must happen for Joel Embiid to officially be Knicks trade target
5: Sixers don’t trade away their future for a star this offseason
The Sixers are in a position where if they can’t convince James Harden to stay (or at least play if they won’t trade him), Philadelphia will need to be aggressive on the trade market. Considering that Harden is still intent on leaving, the Sixers may need to mortgage their future on a Damian Lillard trade.
Philadelphia isn’t Lillard’s number-one destination, but it’d be hard to see Dame being against playing with Joel Embiid. After Lillard requested a trade on the second day of free agency, the Sixers emerged as a team interested in the seven-time All-Star. The Lillard trade talks have generally stalled, with the Trail Blazers understandably wanting a sizable haul in return.
What would it take for Philadelphia to get Dame? Well, for starters, Tyrese Maxey. Sending the 22-year-old to Portland is easily a move that could come back to haunt Philadelphia, but it would pair a star alongside Embiid.
The Sixers desperately need to be in a win-now mode to capitalize on Embiid’s success. He’s in his prime, and rather than let another Ben Simmons situation develop with Harden, Philadelphia has to prioritize putting together a winning roster around Embiid.