New York Knicks Float Trade Offer for Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid

Posted on: October 27, 2023, 10:12h. 

Last updated on: October 30, 2023, 03:04h.

Although Joel Embiid from the Philadelphia 76ers hasn’t requested a trade, the New York Knicks floated a possible package for the reigning MVP that includes three starters and multiple first-round draft picks.

Joel Embiid Julius Randle
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid draws a foul against New York Knicks forward Julius Randle in a game at Wells Fargo Center. (Image: Getty)

The Knicks are willing to trade power forward Julius Randle, swingman R.J. Barrett, center Mitchell Robinson, and/or backup shooting guard Evan Fournier to the 76ers for Embiid. Draft picks are also on the table. The Knicks own all of their first-round picks for the remainder of the decade, and they also have four additional picks that they acquired in other trades.

The Knicks are willing to offer a package that includes three key players, according to sources,” reported Keith Pompey from the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A trio from that group would be paired with two or three first-round picks.”

This trade rumor surfaced this week before the tip-off of the new NBA season. Fans and beat reporters from both teams quickly dismissed Embiid to the Knicks. But the timing of the trade rumor is compelling.

76ers and Knicks on the Futures Market

The Boston Celtics are the betting favorite to win the Atlantic Division at -350 odds, according to DraftKings. The Celtics are ahead of the 76ers (+400), Knicks (+1100), Toronto Raptors (+4000), and Brooklyn Nets (+6000).

The 76ers are +750 odds to win the Eastern Conference as the third-highest team behind the Celtics (+180) and Bucks (+190). The Knicks are sixth on the futures board at +2000 odds to win the conference.

The 76ers are +1900 odds to win the 2023-24 NBA Championship as the eighth favorite on the board.

Oddsmakers installed the 76ers with a win total of 47.5 over/under this season. The Knicks have a win total of 45.5 o/u.

The 76ers were 54-28 last season and secured the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Knicks were 47-35 and locked up the #5 seed. Both teams were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.

Clock Ticking on Harden Drama

Daryl Morey, the general manager of the 76ers, is notoriously slow to finalize trades, and his glacial negotiating tactic often irks other general managers. If the 76ers wanted to work out a trade with the Knicks or any team, it will get drawn out until the trade deadline in February 2024.

The 76ers have been a hot mess the last few seasons. They finally parted ways with disgruntled point guard Ben Simmons. But they ditched one problem player for another when they acquired James Harden in a trade for Simmons with the Brooklyn Nets in 2022.

Even with the addition of Harden, the 76ers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs in the last two seasons.

Morey is ensconced in a well-documented beef with Harden. Harden requested a trade, specifically to the Los Angeles Clippers, in the off-season. The trade never came to fruition, and Harden didn’t mince words when he called Morey a liar. Morey attempted to trade Harden, but his asking price was too steep for the Clippers, and it also turned away any other potential suitors.

Harden skipped the last 10 days of the preseason for “personal reasons.” He’s not expected to suit up for the 76ers until next week.

Knicks Seek Trade for Big Star

The Knicks have been trying to bring in a high-profile star for the last few seasons since Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving snubbed them in favor of the Brooklyn Nets in 2019.

The Knicks stockpiled multiple first-round draft picks and are willing to cobble together a package for an All-Star that includes talented young players. They targeted  Donovan Mitchell in the summer of 2022. But the Cleveland Cavaliers outbid the Knicks and secured the all-star guard in a trade with the Utah Jazz.

Point guard Damian Lillard has always been on the Knicks’ radar. But Lillard asked the Portland Trail Blazers to trade him to the Miami Heat this off-season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo put the Milwaukee Bucks on notice and said he wouldn’t sign a contract extension unless they were serious about winning another championship. The Bucks didn’t want to lose the two-time MVP, so they pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Trail Blazers to acquire Lillard. In one quick transaction, the Bucks erased two players off the Knicks’ wish list.

After the 76ers were eliminated from the 2023 NBA playoffs, Embiid clearly stated he wanted to win a championship in Philadelphia or elsewhere. His frank comment led to speculation that he wanted out of the City of Brotherly Love, and the Knicks were at the top of the list of potential suitors.

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns from the Minnesota Timberwolves is also on a shortlist of potential trade targets for the Knicks. A trade for Towns seems more likely than Embiid for the Knicks at this point.