NBA Teams Exploring Trade Packages for Joel Embiid: Report

Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during Game Seven of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Toronto Raptors.

No, the Sixers aren’t actively shopping Joel Embiid. Let’s just get that out of the way from the jump.

But rival executives around the league are currently doing their due diligence and putting together potential trade packages in case the All-Star center becomes available on the open market, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

The long-time NBA insider dropped the interesting nugget during a recent episode of ESPN’s “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast. Remember, any swap would have to happen next season as the league’s trade deadline passed on Feb. 6. Either way, it’s a pretty bold rumor to be throwing out there from one of the most plugged-in and well-respected reporters on the NBA beat.

“It’s such a radical thing, but the fact that we’re in mid-February and the people who work in the league, who have to prepare in advance, are mulling over Joel Embiid potentially coming to market, whether that’s true or not,” Windhorst said, as transcribed by Hot New Hip Hop. “I mean, Josh Harris can come on this podcast and deny it if he wants, but the fact people are talking about it, is not good. It’s a symptom of where they are.”

Sixers Not Actively Seeking to Trade Embiid

Brian Windhorst’s main point was to inform people that other teams are talking about it, although the Sixers probably aren’t interested in moving arguably the face of their franchise.

Joel Embiid has come under intense criticism from Sixers fans, local sports talk radio and even big-time national pundits like Stephen A. Smith, Charle Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Colin Cowherd. He’s been called out for being everything from fat and lazy to immature and unmotivated. It all came to a crescendo on Sunday night when Embiid appeared to “shush” the Philly faithful and then curse them out.

Embiid played off the incident by saying he was “just talking to myself” and not yelling at the fans. Sixers GM Elton Brand has gone on record saying that his two superstars — Embiid and Ben Simmons — need to learn how to play together. He didn’t bring up trading either player.

“They’re two All-Stars,” Brand said, via Bleacher Report. “We just need to figure out how these pieces fit.”

Sixers Fans Boo Embiid at Sixers-Bulls Game

Joel Embiid’s infamous “shush” may have been a reaction to the hometown crowd booing him at Wells Fargo Center. That’s right, Sixers fans were none too complimentary to the big man when he trotted out onto the court on Sunday. Both the center and head coach Brett Brown received a chorus of boos as they struggled to beat the lowly Chicago Bulls.

The Sixers did win the game and improve their record to 24-2 at home. However, the damage was done. Brown talked about getting booed and chalked it up to playing in an “aggressive city.”

“I think in general it goes like this: This is a uniquely, and we love it, aggressive city,” Brown told reporters, via The Athletic’s Rich Hofmann. “Look at how they handle their stars, from Carson Wentz to Bryce Harper to Joel Embiid. They’re on coaches. Some of it is we just gotta play better and coach better.”

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