The New York Knicks are projected to have a dynamic offseason as they aim to enhance their lineup with the goal of returning to the playoffs and potentially securing a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals next season.
Despite qualifying for the postseason for six consecutive seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers have not made it to the conference finals in this period. Following the recent firing of Head Coach Doc Rivers and with James Harden likely to decline his player option in pursuit of a long-term deal, there may be changes ahead.
Given these circumstances, Joel Embiid, the 76ers’ Center and the League’s MVP, could be on the move. The Knicks might just be the team to pull off a blockbuster deal, extracting the superstar from Philadelphia.
What Joel Embiid would bring to the Knicks:
Embiid has just finished one of the most outstanding individual seasons ever by a center, averaging an NBA-leading 33.1 points, alongside 10.2 rebounds, and shooting 54.8% from the field. His capacity to stretch the floor from the center position, which was a notable weakness in the Knicks’ offense this season, would be a significant asset to the team.
After advancing to the second round of the playoffs, the Knicks are well-positioned to execute a dramatic trade for a player at a position they urgently need to improve. Mitchell Robinson made a significant impact for New York this season, but his inability to stretch the floor limits the team’s offensive capabilities.
Even though the Knicks missed out on acquiring Dallas’ lottery pick on Tuesday, they still have several draft picks over the next few years and possess a number of tradeable contracts already on the roster.
New York has been yearning for a superstar to join their ranks, and following Jalen Brunson’s impressive playoff performance, there is a heightened urgency to make a dramatic upgrade to the roster. This will maximize the impact of Brunson’s breakthrough and hopefully bring a championship to the city for the first time in over half a century.
Embiid could certainly address a range of issues currently affecting the Knicks team, but acquiring him won’t come cheap. In the current NBA market, superstar trades are increasingly challenging due to higher demands.
In a realistic scenario, the Knicks might have to let go of either RJ Barrett or Julius Randle to secure Embiid. They could also need to give up another role player, such as Immanuel Quickley or Quentin Grimes, and multiple first and second-round picks.
While an Embiid trade would dramatically alter the current Knicks lineup, it could be the solution if they wish to return to the playoffs and pose a legitimate threat to the likes of the Boston Celtics or Milwaukee Bucks in the East.
The Knicks front office is known for its prudent approach to the market. An Embiid acquisition is a move that all members of the Knicks’ management will need to scrutinize carefully as it could redefine the team’s path.
Whether they choose to transition from the current core and bring in the reigning MVP is something that only time will reveal.
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