Philadelphia 76ers’ All-Star Joel Embiid has emerged as the biggest household name in recent NBA trade speculation.
Whether he intended to or not, Embiid immediately fueled trade speculation at last month’s Uninterrupted Film Festival when he said his goal was to win a championship with the 76ers “or anywhere else.”
Philly’s other All-Star, James Harden, also requested a trade earlier this summer. The 2018 league MVP even opted into his $35.6 million player option instead of going to free agency, hoping it would help the 76ers complete a trade.
A Harden trade is inevitable, especially after his recent comments on 76ers’ team president Daryl Morey. If the 76es decide to full-on rebuild by trading both Harden and Embiid, there won’t be a shortage of teams interested in the reigning MVP.
Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus proposed a massive trade idea that has Philly sending Embiid to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Chet Holmgren, Victor Oladipo, Isaiah Joe, Dāvis Bertāns, first-round picks in 2024, 2025 and 2026 plus 2024, 2025 and 2030 second-round picks:
“The Thunder already have an All-NBA first-teamer in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the most enormous war chest of draft picks in league history and several exciting young players like Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren.
Holmgren missed his initial rookie year with a foot injury. While he may grow into a highly productive big man, Joel Embiid is one of the two best centers in the NBA. The Thunder could build a package around Holmgren (with Dāvis Bertāns, Victor Oladipo and other young players as salary ballast) with as many picks as needed to get a deal done.
For the Sixers, it’s a question of direction. Is the goal to rebuild around Tyrese Maxey, or do they try to quickly field a team of veterans to chase a playoff spot? Philadelphia might want to get players like Giddey or Williams, but the Thunder have more than enough draft compensation—perhaps even to substitute Luguentz Dort instead of Holmgren.”
Thunder GM Sam Presti has loaded up on draft picks since 2019, acquiring a plethora of them thanks to several blockbuster trades — namely the Paul George-to-Clippers and Russell Westbrook-to-Rockets deals.
OKC improved by 16 wins last season and fell just short of qualifying for the playoffs. If Presti wants to trade for an All-Star and place his club in win-now mode, then a trade for Embiid makes perfect sense. That is, of course, if the 76ers are willing to part with their franchise player.
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