The New York Knicks are in the midst of a renaissance era and are reportedly in the hunt to trade for Philadelphia 76ers reigning league MVP Joel Embiid.
From Missed Opportunities to A Golden One for the Knicks
The Knicks failed to capitalize on moves for All-NBA talents Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Damian Lillard (Milwaukee Bucks), but rumblings indicate that Embiid wanting out of Philadelphia could gift the Knicks with one of their greatest players in franchise history.
The Knicks have the pieces to make a push for Embiid. New York has a horde of draft picks from now until 2030 — including six first-round selections in 2024 and 2025 combined.
Additionally, All-Star forward Julius Randle, 28, is under contract for three more seasons at an average of roughly $30 million. Randle would almost certainly have to be included in any deal, as Embiid’s supermax contract is set to breach the $50 million threshold after this season.
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A Recipe for Change
The 76ers have not lived up to expectations since Embiid was drafted. They’ve failed to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals or better despite an All-Star caliber supporting cast surrounding the Cameroonian big.
Additionally, Embiid’s co-star James Harden has had his name in trade talks all summer, linked to the Los Angeles Clippers among other teams. Harden has been a poster child for player mobility in the modern NBA and, with lessened production, leaves the Sixers in a precarious position with his liability to depart at any time.
Embiid removed Philadelphia from his biography on social media earlier this summer — an early sign from players in today’s NBA that an exit is soon to follow.
As for Embiid’s value, the numbers and eye test speak for themselves. He became the first center to average 30 or more points in a season since Los Angeles Lakers Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal did so in his 1999-2000 MVP season.
His generational talent blankets his proneness to injury (career-high 68 games played in 2021-22) as fans in the Big Apple have been craving a return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1999.
Case in point? An uncanny ability to recover off of blow-by’s for chase-down blocks and a multi-variate offensive attack earned him multiple scoring titles, All-NBA and All-Defensive honors.
Sixers general manager Daryl Morey has not been vocal on any trade request rumination surrounding Embiid thus far. With the 2023-24 season set to commence on Oct. 26, Philadelphia’s performance will dictate Embiid’s willingness to stay or leave.