Joel Embiid, like many NBA superstars before him, could consider finding a new home after second-round exit after second-round exit every postseason with the Philadelphia 76ers.
James Harden’s potential free-agent departure could prompt the franchise to consider a second full-scale teardown and contenders that fell short this postseason, feeling they are a piece away, could be chomping at the bit for Embiid to hit the trade block.
One such contender — a franchise that has been aggressive in the trade market before in order to improve its already high chances of winning even further — is the Golden State Warriors. FanSided’s Mark Powell came up with a proposal of Kevon Looney, Jordan Poole, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, Patrick Baldwin, a 2026 first-round pick, a 2028 first-round pick, a 2030 first-round pick, and pick swaps in 2027 and 2029 for the MVP.
And Powell thought that was “a lot” to give up for Embiid, referencing the price the Minnesota Timberwolves paid for Rudy Gobert during the 2022 offseason.
“Yes, that’s a lot, but the Dubs would acquire Embiid, the defending MVP in his prime,” Powell wrote. “It would extend their championship window by another half-decade, if not more. If Rudy Gobert costs five firsts, this is the price for Embiid. Sorry not sorry.”
Stephen A. Smith: Joel Embiid ‘Wasn’t Happy’ With Sixers After Doc Rivers Firing
On May 16 during the lead-up to the 2023 NBA draft, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said that Doc Rivers’ firing as Philadelphia 76ers head coach was something Embiid is not happy about behind the scenes.
“I am here to tell you right now, Joel Embiid wasn’t happy that Doc Rivers got fired,” Smith said. “Not from everything that I’m hearing, and I worked in Philadelphia for 17 years, and I still know a lot of people within the Philadelphia 76ers organization. I ain’t guessing. I’m telling you.”
Sixers General Manager Daryl Morey didn’t deny Smith’s report, confirming that Embiid was close with Rivers during a May 17 press scrum.
“They had a strong relationship,” Morey told reporters. “I have to make tough calls all the time with trades Joel was disappointed in… I think it’s natural to be very close with the people in the locker room. He was very close with coach Rivers and was shocked with the change. It’s my job to help convince him that the new coach is someone he’ll have a great relationship with.”
Sixers Can Pursue Mike D’Antoni to Placate James Harden
Morey has the potential to greatly upset Embiid by hiring Mike D’Antoni as the next Philadelphia 76ers head coach in an effort to placate Harden. Smith called D’Antoni Harden’s preferred candidate.
“If (Mike) D’Antoni is the next head coach because we all know that’s who James Harden wants, and Daryl Morey is the person in the position to give him exactly what he wants,” Smith said.
Smith would feel for Embiid in that scenario, calling such a possibility “ridiculous.”
“If that were to transpire, imagine how ridiculous that is,” Smith said. “Joel Embiid is the reigning league MVP, a 7-foot-1 behemoth of a man, one of the most talented big men we have ever seen. Clearly, the face of the franchise, but the franchise would be capitulating to James Harden.”