76ers trade for six-time All-Star & prized veteran in wild proposal

The Philadelphia 76ers go all-in this season and trade for a former All-Star and a prized veteran despite Joel Embiid’s injury in this mock deal.
Joel Embiid, 76ers
Joel Embiid, 76ers / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Why the 76ers shouldn’t trade for DeRozan and Caruso

Snagging DeRozan and Caruso as rotational upgrades is a luxurious prospect in and of itself — the type of midseason move that would often catapult a team a tier up especially when forecasting the postseason picture.

Then reality kicks in. The 76ers haven’t formally ruled out Embiid still returning this season, but they probably would and should not rush him at all. Should he need all the time in the world to recuperate, so be it. He’s the kind of player whom you should trust the process for.

Flipping two first-round picks for players who wouldn’t give the 76ers much competitive advantage over the powerhouses in the NBA sans Embiid is simply unwise, a malpractice even. After all, Philly has a clear runway for a big upgrade during the offseason anyway, and accelerating that preserved timeline would be counterituitive after all the prep work they did to set them up for an expensive summer.

Embiid’s injury should honestly prompt Philadelphia to be more conservative and patient. After all, should Embiid return, the 76ers would still have enough to make noise in the playoffs with this roster no matter their seeding. And should they desire upgrades, they should be free to do so — just not at the expense of valuable draft picks they can leverage to pursue star players later on.

To conclude, this trade proposal is operating on overt optimism that it gives the 76ers the look of a short-sighted collective that has no regard for a more lucid opportunity to improve when it’s staring right at them from a distance labeled “a few months”.

Grade: C-