NBA Insider Spills Truth on Joel Embiid-to-Knicks Rumor

Joel Embiid, New York Knicks

Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the fourth quarter of the game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Reigning MVP Joel Embiid is the dream trade target of the New York Knicks this summer in their bid to build on their most successful season in a decade.

That could remain just a dream, as longtime NBA insider Marc Stein quashed the rumor during Friday night’s chat with his Substack paid subscribers.

“Embiid to New York is strictly in the media chatter phase as we speak,” Stein said. “There are no legs to it … YET. Could that change? Of course.”

There are no indications that Embiid is available. Still, the rumors continue to percolate with the Philadelphia 76ers heading into an inflection point after firing Doc Rivers as their head coach and with James Harden‘s free agency looming.

Harden is expected to return to the Houston Rockets, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. If it happens, Philadelphia will be hard-pressed to replace him without cap space, leaving the door open for the 29-year-old Embiid to seek a better situation to compete for an NBA title.

“Scenario A would be to bring James back,” Sixers president Daryl Morey said. “Scenario B, if he’s not back, we’ll have to get creative.”

Scenario B is where the Knicks could jump in, as The Ringer’s Bill Simmons laid out on his podcast earlier this week.

“The Knicks are just waiting for Embiid to say it’s time for me to go,” Simmons said on his podcast with Ryen Russillo. “They have their relationships. They have Leon and Wes, who were his guys. They’ve been waiting for this moment, right now. And it’s here.”

The Embiid-to-Knicks rumor gained more steam when New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy tweeted that he’s been told the six-time NBA All-Star and a former Leon Rose client “is the guy to watch.”

Knicks Believe Joel Embiid Can Make Them a Title Contender

A potential pairing of Jalen Brunson and Joel Embiid conjures a vision of at least an NBA Finals appearance for the Knicks.

“[With] Donovan Mitchell [last summer], they decided not to go all in,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said on the May 15 episode of “The Lowe Post” podcast. “They were willing to go a lot in, [but] they did not go all in because they did the calculus — or whatever you want to say — and did not feel like getting Donovan Mitchell to pair with Jalen Brunson put them in a championship position.

“I am pretty confident in saying that they feel like putting Joel Embiid on that roster with Jalen Brunson as their second-best player would give them a legitimate chance to win championships, and I believe that to be true despite the fact that what we just said about Joel Embiid and his history of playoff disappointments,” MacMahon added.

Knicks’ Plan B

The Knicks have a backup plan if Embiid or the other stars on their wish list are unavailable this summer.

Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer singled out O.G. Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors as the name to keep an eye on.

“He’s just going to have a lot of suitors. Keep an eye on Portland with the No. 3 pick and Memphis as they try and continue to upgrade,” Fischer told Sportsnaut on Saturday. “I think the Knicks are another team to keep an eye on if they don’t get a big fish like [Karl-Anthony Towns] or Joel Embiid.

“Could they send a smaller package out for O.G. Anunoby and continue to build this thing brick by brick before that real No. 1 star comes into the fold? I think OG’s a name to keep an eye on.”

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