Knicks Rumored Target Joel Embiid Puts Sixers on the Clock

Joel Embiid, Julius Randle, Knicks

Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks‘ rumored trade target Joel Embiid showed the first real sign of unrest amid the messy James Harden situation in Philadelphia.

In a July 13 interview with Maverick Carter discussing the launch of his Miniature Géant Studio, Embiid spoke about the possibility of playing for another team than the Sixers.

“I just want to win a championship, whatever it takes,” the reigning NBA MVP told Carter. “I don’t know where that’s going to be — whether in Philly or anywhere else — I just want to have a chance to accomplish that. I want to see what it feels like to win that first one, and then you think about the next one. It’s not easy. It takes more than one, two, three guys. You got to have good people around you. Every single day, I work hard to be at that level so I can produce and make it happen. Every single day I’m working towards that goal.”

It marked the first time Embiid mentioned potentially playing elsewhere after years of professing loyalty to the franchise that drafted him.

Knicks Linked as Joel Embiid’s Potential Landing Spot

Multiple NBA insiders and reporters have mentioned the Knicks as the team waiting for Embiid to ask out of Philadelphia. Their restraint in the trade market is viewed as a sign that they are saving their trade chips for Embiid, previously represented by Knicks president Leon Rose when he was still a power agent at Creative Artists Agency.

SNY’s Ian Begley said on the July 13 episode of The Lowe Post with Zach Lowe podcast that “if Embiid gets upset, unhappy, softly demands a trade, or anything above that, I’m sure the Knicks will be right there.”

In the June 26 episode of The First Take, former ESPN reporter Nick Friedell also said to keep an eye on the Knicks as a potential Embiid suitor.

“There’s so much focus right now on James Harden, but what happens if they go back into the postseason and this team just cannot get through the brick wall that is the second round? What occurs then? It means, a year from now, we’re going to be sitting here, and the NBA world will be wondering, ‘Has Joel Embiid had enough?’. It is the question that has been rumbling underneath the surface around the league right now,” Friedell said on First Take.

“At what point does Joel Embiid look around and go, ‘It’s not happening for me, here, I need to go elsewhere.’ I’m telling you all right now: the team to keep an eye on sits right here in New York City, and it’s the Knicks because they would love nothing more than to put every asset they have just like every other team and say, ‘Hey Joel come play at the Garden, come be around Jalen Brunson and be in a situation that is ready-made for you to compete for a title right away,” he added.

Knicks Believe Joel Embiid Can Make Them a Title Contender

A potential pairing of Jalen Brunson and 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.




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