Grade the Trade: 76ers’ rival makes intriguing Embiid offer

Joel Embiid, RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson - Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Joel Embiid, RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson - Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 4
Joel Embiid, Julius Randle, 76ers /

For a couple of years now, the New York Knicks have made it publically known that they are interested in acquiring Joel Embiid if he becomes available at any point. Keith Pompey reported the possibility of the above trade this morning. The relationship between Knicks President, Leon Rose, and Embiid is well-documented and Rose even attended Embiid’s wedding. “What else could this possibly mean besides Embiid will be a Knick this season?” said every New York fan.

The reality is the Knicks do have an intriguing amount of relatively young talent as well as draft picks available to at least initiate a conversation with the Sixers should a trade ever be on the table. The thing is, Daryl Morey is smart. He is smart enough to know that he has to do everything within his power and then some to not only keep Joel Embiid in Philadelphia but also to ensure he is happy and comfortable with the direction of the franchise.

This should start and end with dealing Harden and dealing him fast. Whether Morey needs to make another trade after moving Harden to acquire the types of players he is looking for to complement Embiid and keep the Sixers firmly in the NBA title conversation is a consideration. However, drawing a line in the sand and being unwavering in the specific return he is looking for cannot be the strategy.

Prolonging another unhappy superstar guard’s tenure in Philly only makes things worse for Embiid. Not only will his friendship with Harden affect how he views the franchise, but also the team will not be a realistic competitor in the Eastern Conference if Harden is holding out and Embiid is carrying an unsustainable load. This would also negatively affect his view of the Sixers.

So should Philly consider this potential trade offer from the New York Knicks?