2: Houston Rockets
If we’ve learned anything from the James Harden situation, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve known someone, the NBA is a business. Joel Embiid won’t have the final say in where he ends up if he’s traded, but if he did, he likely wouldn’t oppose going to Houston.
As Rockets beat writer Kelly Iko said on The Athletic NBA show, Houston would be a team to watch in the Embiid sweepstakes because of the center’s relationship with Ime Udoka. The new Rockets head coach not only spent a season with the Sixers on Brett Brown’s staff, but Udoka also coached Embiid in 2013 at the Adidas Nations camp.
Morey could do business with the organization he spent 14 years with before leaving for Philadelphia, and he’d likely rather do so than send Embiid to a division rival. The Rockets have intriguing young players Morey could eye to officially send the Sixers back into “Trust the Process” mode.
Tampering runs rampant in the NBA, and Udoka could’ve already made a pitch to Embiid about why Houston would be a good fit for him.