The New York Knicks have been installed as the odds-on favorites to land reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid if he asks for a trade out of Philadelphia amid the widening rift between his costar, James Harden, and 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.
Bookies.com’s NBA future odds pegged the Knicks as +600 favorites (an implied probability of 14.3%) to become Embiid’s next team for the 2024-25 season if he leaves Philadelphia. Embiid, 29, is under contract through the 2025-26 season with a player option for 2026-27. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Knicks’ across-the-borough rival, the Brooklyn Nets, are tied at +750, each with an 11.8% implied probability of landing Embiid.
The latest odds came on the heels of Harden publicly roasting Morey during his basketball camp in China, where he said August 14 in a viral video, “Daryl Morey is a liar. I will never be a part of an organization he is part of.”
Embiid quietly made his move the next day, removing the word “Processing…” and the location, “Philadelphia, PA,” on his X (formerly known as Twitter) bio.
Embiid’s future in Philadelphia became the subject of speculation in July following his comments at the Uninterrupted Film Festival about competing for a championship “whether it’s in Philly or anywhere else.”
Before Harden publicly declared war against Morey, Embiid’s mindset was “to give everything he has to the Sixers this year,” according to ESPN’s NBA senior reporter Ramona Shelburne on August 10. “That includes putting his arm around James Harden, that includes trying to lift Tyrese Maxey up, that includes inviting all of those guys to his wedding.”
“Joel Embiid is very involved in those discussions going forward with the 76ers,” Shelburne said on the August 10 episode of the “NBA Today”. “I think when we talk about this year, it doesn’t necessarily mean at the end of this year, he asks out. It means this year is very important because they’ve gotta get a squad together for the long haul if they want to keep Joel Embiid happy and in the fold.”
The Knicks and the rest of the NBA are keenly watching how the drama in Philadelphia ends.
Knicks Keeping off Bench Warmer From Trade
“They like those two too much just to give them away,” Fred Katz of The Athletic reported on August 15.
Both benchwarmers are still on their rookie-scale contract, making them valuable to the Knicks, who are creeping into the luxury threshold. They also double as trade pieces in a star trade and as insurance depth in case such a trade guts their roster of other young players on their rotation.
Canada Coach Raves About RJ Barrett
Canada coach Jordi Fernández raved about RJ Barrett after the Knicks forward scored 31 points on an efficient 13-of-14 shooting to lift Canada to a thrilling 113-112 revenge win over Germany in overtime to capture the Basketball Super Cup title.
“Overall, [Barrett] was outstanding. Very efficient offensively,” Fernández said via Canada Basketball. “He’s been very clean with his decision-making, running the floor and attacking the paint, so this is exactly what we needed from him. This is exactly the production we want.”
Barrett has emerged as Canada’s leading scorer through three exhibition games, averaging 18 points per game on a ridiculous 68.8% shooting clip.