But ESPN’s Zach Lowe is not too keen on Towns going to New York. He has a better idea.
“If I’m the Knicks, all these Karl-Anthony Towns rumors are going to start now, forget that,” Lowe said on the May 15 episode of his “The Lowe Post” podcast. “I have a good team. If I’m the Knicks, I have [Jalen] Brunson. He’s an awesome point guard. Like, why am I upending my team for Damian Lillard if he becomes available? I got a point guard. I’m not putting all my chips. I missed my chance on [Donovan] Mitchell, and that’s fine. We rebounded from that. That turned out to be an okay decision. I still got all these chips.”
“Towns ain’t the guy that I’m playing those chips for. I’m waiting for the next guy. [Joel] Embiid? That’s the guy I’m playing all the chips for.”
Joel Embiid‘s future in Philadelphia hangs in the balance after the 76ers’ third straight second-round exit.
Lowe and his ESPN colleague Tim MacMahon said on the same podcast that “the Houston Rockets think [Harden] is coming.”
If Harden leaves Embiid, Philadelphia will have a hard time re-tooling with little cap space. Embiid, who turned 29 in March, will have to contemplate whether he would spend his remaining prime years in Philadelphia with a watered-down supporting cast or seek a trade to a better situation.
New York could be one superstar away from serious contention after Brunson led an offensively-flawed Knicks team to two wins away from the Eastern Conference Finals.
Could Embiid be that star the Knicks have all been waiting for?
Bill Simmons Believes the Knicks Are Waiting for Joel Embiid
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons speculated three directions where the 76ers could go after their third straight second-round exit — a “Hail Mary” trade for Damian Lillard, re-sign James Harden and replace Doc Rivers, or Embiid pushes for a trade that could force them to go full rebuild.
“The Knicks are just waiting for Embiid to say it’s time for me to go,” Simmons said on the May 15 episode of his podcast with Ryen Russillo. “They have their relationships. They have Leon [Rose] and Wes [William Wesley], who were his guys. They’ve been waiting for this moment, right now. And it’s here.”
Rose is Embiid’s former agent at Creative Artists Agency.
Jalen Brunson Is Excited for Knicks’ Future
With or without a superstar next to him, Jalen Brunson looks forward to building on their playoff run in his first year with the Knicks.
“New York has been amazing, and the fans have been amazing. It’s been a really great experience for myself and my family. I’m already excited about next year. It’s going to be fun. We have a lot to prove to each other as teammates,” Brunson said after their Game 6 loss to Miami. “This was a great year for us… Obviously, we didn’t end the season the way we wanted to, but [we have to] keep working on our game, keep gaining confidence, as [players] and as teammates, and as we move forward, we just gotta keep sticking together like we did this year.”
The Knicks have the assets — 11 first-round picks over the next seven drafts, young players, and expiring contracts — to reshape the roster and build around Brunson, who emerged as their top player despite not getting named to the All-Star and All-NBA teams.