Embiid’s former Philadelphia 76ers teammate PJ Tucker was quoted telling The Post’s Stefan Bondy, “Of course, he hears [trade chatter]. “But you never know with these situations and how it’s going to play out, what guys are thinking, what’s happening behind closed doors. You never know.”
Questions surrounding Embiid’s future in Philadelphia emerged last summer due, in large part to the James Harden trade demand. The reigning MVP and the 76ers answered those questions with a roaring 5-1 start with the help of their rising star Tyrese Maxey.
“Knowing [Embiid], being around him, he’s just pushing those guys to try to make them better,” Tucker told The Post, “work together and be around each other. They’ve got a new coach [Nick Nurse]. But he’s been around those guys, so they’re going to be a good team.”
Maxey stepped up in Harden’s place as Embiid’s sidekick. The 23-year-old Maxey is averaging a career-best 25.5 points and 7.3 assists while shooting 50% from the field and a scorching 44.2% from deep.
Is this hot Philly start sustainable? Only time will tell. But they are longer as combustible with Harden now gone.
Embiid, a six-time All-Star, is playing again at an MVP level, averaging 32.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists. The former Leon Rose’s client is coming off a 48-point performance in the 76ers rout of the Washington Wizards Monday night.
Tucker shut down the notion of dysfunction in Philadelphia despite the Harden and Ben Simmons sagas and their consecutive second-round exits.
“It wasn’t like that at all. The media is going to spin it how you want. But Philly has got a good team. We had a good team,” Tucker said. “What James [Harden] said — when we played, we won. It’s a good mix. It still could have worked. Wasn’t going to. But it was a good team. I think all the noise was just that just noise.”
Knicks Spoil James Harden’s Clippers Debut
The Knicks snapped a two-game skid by spoiling Harden’s Clippers debut with a dominant 111-97 victory Monday night.
Except for Jalen Brunson, who had a woeful 2-of-12 shooting night, the Knicks fired on all cylinders, especially Julius Randle, who had a season-high 27 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
RJ Barrett added 26 points in his return from a two-game absence due to lingering knee soreness. Mitchell Robinson dominated the Clippers in the paint with a monster double-double (13 points, 15 rebounds and four steals).
It was a feel-good victory for the Knicks, whose offense was out of sync leading to Monday night’s performance.
The Knicks improved to 3-4 with Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs set to visit the Garden on Wednesday.
Joe Ingles Believes Donovan Mitchell Will Play for Knicks
Donovan Mitchell’s ex-Utah Jazz teammate Joe Ingles believes the Westchester native will end up in New York in the future.
“This is like non-bias, no outside info, I think he’ll play for New York one day, whether that’s sooner or later,” Ingles said on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. “I think it would be great for New York and I think it would be great for him. Whether or not that actually happens we’ll wait and see.”
The Knicks flirted with the idea of adding Mitchell last year. But they did not go out of their way to get him. But they did not go all-in as they didn’t believe Mitchell was a “singular force” worthy of cashing in all their chips.
That distinction belongs to Embiid, who the Knicks are waiting to become available.