After months of rumors, it seems as if it isn’t much of a question as to if Joel Embiid will request a trade, but when. Training camp is around the corner, and the New York Knicks would love it if the James Harden saga led to Embiid also wanting out of Philadelphia.
The Knicks have been labeled as the top team to watch in a possible Embiid trade, but several other teams would scramble to put together their best offer for the reigning MVP. The Athletic’s Kelly Iko said New York and Houston would be two teams to watch in an Embiid deal. Iko cited the center’s relationship with new Rockets head coach Ime Udoka, who spent a season with the Sixers as an assistant head coach.
If the Knicks were to lose out on Embiid to the Rockets, that’d be a tough blow. However, it’d be even worse if one of New York’s hated Eastern Conference rivals were the team to win the Embiid sweepstakes. According to Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill, the Heat are also waiting in the shadows on an Embiid trade.
"“Everyone’s circling, waiting. The Knicks and Miami are keeping an eye on everything going on,” a league source told Yahoo Sports."
Knicks and Heat reportedly two teams ‘keeping an eye’ on possible Joel Embiid trade
Goodwill also wrote that people around the league believe Joel Embiid will request a trade “sooner rather than later” and that “a full rebuild is what Morey is covertly hoping for.”
If that’s true, Morey and the Sixers are going in the right direction. After James Harden called Morey a “liar” at an Adidas event in China, the NBA launched an inquiry into the situation to determine what Harden was referencing. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported what Harden told the league.
Philadelphia ended trade discussions regarding Harden last week, but he’s maintained his stance that he won’t play another game for Morey’s Sixers. Given how Harden acted in Houston and Brooklyn after he wanted out, training camp in Philadelphia should be highly entertaining.
As all 30 teams gear up for a new season, the Knicks will continue to hope that the Sixers’ ineptitude will lead to Embiid being the next superstar on the trade market. Hopefully, the Heat will get their Damian Lillard trade wishes granted, so they’ll be out of the running for Embiid.
Either way, Leon Rose’s relationship with Embiid and New York’s first-round picks and young players could be what finally draws the star center to the Knicks.
This story could continue to unfold for the entirety of the 2023-24 season. Still, it seems as if Harden’s crumbling relationship with Philadelphia is helping to expedite the situation. How much longer will Joel Embiid be a Sixer?