Knicks have ‘hope’ they can land superstar center this off-season

joel embiid, knicks
Apr 17, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts after a score against the Brooklyn Nets during the third quarter in game two of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks face a challenging off-season, with a primary focus on securing a superstar to complement Jalen Brunson’s talents.

After missing out on Bradley Beal, recently traded to the Phoenix Suns, the Knicks’ strategy centers on enticing select players to seek a trade away from their current teams.

One superstar capturing significant attention is Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, who might force an exit from the City of Brotherly Love and join a team like the Knicks, known for its starting talent and depth.

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Joel Embiid: Potential New Addition to the Roster

Embiid, a six-time consecutive All-Star, and last season’s MVP, could be an intriguing addition to the Knicks. At 29, he’s a proven talent, with three All-Defensive titles and five All-NBA honors under his belt. During the 2022-23 season, he averaged an impressive 33.1 points per game.

Pairing Embiid with Brunson could prove formidable for the Knicks, taking pressure off their star point guard. However, this is contingent on Embiid’s desire to leave the Philadelphia 76ers.

“They’re not hoping for patience, they’re hoping for The Process. I don’t know if that’s coming, but they’ve looked at that situation in Philly and there’s been a hope in New York that stuff in Philly will go haywire to the point where Embiid will ask out,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said.

Embiid’s Contract and Potential Impact on the Knicks’ Finances

Embiid is currently starting a four-year, $210.1 million deal, scheduled to earn $46.9 million in the upcoming season, accounting for 35% of the league cap. His contract includes a player option worth $58.1 million which will expire when he turns 32.

While Embiid’s salary is substantial, the Knicks’ recent competitiveness, not seen since Carmelo Anthony’s high-level performance a decade ago, could justify the expenditure.

This might be the moment for the Knicks to make a considerable impact, potentially trading Julius Randle and reallocating his salary to accommodate Embiid. Despite a foot injury during the playoffs, Embiid maintained a healthy average of 23.7 points per game.

Embiid-Brunson Combo: A Powerhouse Duo for the Knicks?

Although Embiid’s field shooting stood at .431, and his rebounds per game were 9.8 during the playoffs, the additional support of Brunson could give the team substantial firepower. While James Harden’s individual skills were available to the 76ers, his talent doesn’t necessarily align with a team-centric approach.

Admittedly, the situation in Philadelphia would have to deteriorate significantly for Embiid to seek an exit. However, if things go their way, the Knicks could prove to be an ideal landing spot for this NBA superstar.