2: Injury history
Joel Embiid is seven feet tall with a 280-pound frame, so the idea of him playing all 82 games in a regular season is a far-fetched dream. The load management concept was explicitly created for players like Embiid.
In 2022-23, he played in 66 regular season games, but he sprained his right knee on April 20 and didn’t return to the lineup until Game 2 of the Sixers’ first-round series against the Nets.
Embiid a little over a game and a half before injuring his knee again late in Game 3, and he was out for Game 4. At that point, Philadelphia had a comfortable 3-0 lead over Brooklyn, and his injury didn’t prevent the Sixers from sweeping the Nets. Embiid did miss Game 1 of the second round against the Celtics, but Philadelphia managed to win without him.
The Knicks have likely already thought about the center’s durability, but it’d be a dagger if the team traded for Embiid only for him to be forced to miss postseason games due to injury. The Knicks will have to give up a chunk of their depth to get Embiid, so it’d be harder to replace him if he were sidelined.
The good news is that Embiid has missed a combined 30 regular season games in the past two seasons, but injuries will become even more of a concern as he gets older.