Whether you want to ignore any trades involving our superstar big man or not, we have to address the pros and cons of this potential trade. First up, let us take a look at the pros.
One thing that cannot be ignored, is getting ahead of a Joel Embiid trade request. By being open to legitimately blockbuster trade discussions, you have an upper hand before a trade request is made. Once a player requests a trade, especially an All-Star player, other teams immediately decrease their trade offers.
In the NBA, players have lopsided leverage when it comes to trades, and we have seen this firsthand with not only Ben Simmons, but we are also in the midst of this exact scenario with James Harden. Up until the moment that Embiid says he wants out of Philly, the Sixers have an additional level of leverage when discussing trades.
When looking at the return the Sixers would get from the New York Knicks, it is a pretty good haul. Consider the picks first. The Sixers could undoubtedly use additional first-round picks, even more so in this scenario where moving on from Embiid signals a mini-rebuild of sorts. You have a young backcourt of Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton and will be able to add to that with potentially 3-first round picks.
On the player side of this trade, the Sixers would receive Julius Randle, an All-Star forward, Mithcell Robinson, a quality young big man, and RJ Barrett, a fringe All-Star who averaged 20 points and 5 rebounds per game last season. Adding those three players to the Maxey and Melton makes a starting lineup much younger and gives the franchise building blocks to start over with. The Sixers are a much worse team on the court immediately following this trade, but that would not be the end goal of an Embiid trade. It is a trade looking towards the future.