1: Playoff resume
The last time the Sixers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals was in 2001, and Joel Embiid isn’t solely responsible for Philadelphia’s playoff failures. However, one of the Knicks’ main reasons to trade for a star would be so they could help the team make a run to the NBA Finals, and that isn’t something Embiid has done before.
Philadelphia was one win away from making it to the ECF this past year, but Embiid and James Harden fell flat against Boston in Game 7. In a demoralizing 112-88 loss, Embiid scored only 15 points (5-of-18) in 38 minutes with eight rebounds, two blocks, and four turnovers. He was outscored by Tobias Harris, who had 19 points, in the Sixers’ most important game in the past two decades.
Even star players aren’t immune from having bad games, but Embiid would need to be a better playoff performer if New York gave up its assets for him. The Knicks haven’t made it to the ECF since 2000, and if they traded for Embiid and could not at least make it that far in his first couple of seasons in NYC, the trade would quickly be labeled a disaster.
Jalen Brunson is a notorious playoff performer, though, so he’d help to unlock a new level of Embiid’s game. Even after giving up a few players for Embiid, New York could also put a better supporting cast around the star center.
Still, Joel Embiid’s postseason struggles are something the Knicks’ front office shouldn’t ignore when considering whether or not to put all of their chips on the table for him.