James Harden being away from Philadelphia due to a “personal matter” has escalated the Joel Embiid trade speculation. If the reigning MVP were to decide that enough is enough and request a trade, the New York Knicks would come swooping in.
Embiid is one of three players the Knicks are reportedly monitoring, and he should be at the top of their list. He’s a superstar and has a relationship with Leon Rose, who used to represent the center with CAA. It might seem like the stars have perfectly aligned for a New York-Embiid trade, but it’ll largely depend on where Philadelphia wants to send him.
The center hasn’t said anything publicly about wanting to be traded. Still, it has to be a thought that’s crossed his mind at least once since the Sixers were eliminated in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at the hands of the Celtics. Embiid’s been in Philadelphia since he was drafted No. 3 overall in 2014, and he doesn’t have an Eastern Conference Finals appearance to show for it.
While it wouldn’t be surprising if the latest Embiid rumor were true, it’s still worthwhile to debate the credibility of it.
Chris Broussard says there’s talk around the NBA that Joel Embiid wants to go to Knicks
Chris Broussard said that Joel Embiid won’t outright say he wants to go to the Knicks for fear of the backlash. It isn’t abnormal for stars to request trades in today’s NBA, but he’s been the face of the Sixers for nearly 10 years. The Process has yet to lead Philadelphia to a championship, and if Embiid were to leave, fans would likely label him as a traitor. That’s normal.
However, it’d be understandable if Embiid requested a trade, especially if it comes next summer after another early playoff exit. He’s 29 and has already received his MVP trophy. Next up for him is a championship and an NBA Finals MVP. Based on the Sixers’ current trajectory (subscription required), it doesn’t seem that will happen anytime soon.
Maybe Embiid does want to play for the Knicks. Although the organization wasn’t a desirable landing spot for stars in the past, things are different now. Embiid would fit perfectly beside Jalen Brunson, and although Broussard believes the center wouldn’t win a title in New York, he’d give the Knicks the best chance they’ve had in years.
If you’re a New York fan who’s against an Embiid trade, that’s understandable. His postseason resume alone is enough to raise an eyebrow. However, the Knicks have been stockpiling assets for years to go after a superstar, and if Embiid becomes available, expect the front office to make a push for him.
Until more comes out about Joel Embiid’s future, it’s safe to assume that his sights aren’t set on the Knicks just yet.