Trade #1: Destroying a division rival for fun
On paper, the odds of Joel Embiid asking out may not seem too high. However, with James Harden asking out and the team not having much cap flexibility, he could force Daryl Morey’s hand by requesting a trade. If this becomes the case, it seems like the Knicks could be a top destination for the league MVP.
This is a hefty price, but we’re talking about a league MVP and one of the five best players in the entire NBA. While the Knicks are losing some key players, it’s not as if the team will be gutted. They will still have players like Immanuel Quickley, Josh Hart, and Isaiah Hartenstein. This trade also allows the Knicks to keep Julius Randle for now, allowing them to potentially move on from him to regain some of their lost depth.
As for the picks, four plus a pick swap is definitely a lot, but the Knicks have plenty of picks to spare even outside of the ones they’d be trading away. This deal is a nice little win-win for all sides involved. The 76ers get a more than fair return for Embiid to help start their rebuild, and the Knicks get the superstar they desperately need.
Bringing in Embiid for this value elevates the Knicks to a championship contender and gives them tons of flexibility to pull off other moves to make the team even better.