It’s no secret that Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid share one of the biggest bromances in basketball. The two stars gushed about each other during the Eastern Conference semifinals, then a cryptic Embiid tweet stoked speculation about the big man possibly pushing for a trade.
Embiid admitted he was joking when the big man hit send on that tweet back on May 26. He had his fan hat on as he playfully jabbed at Butler and the Miami Heat. However, it was enough to get people thinking about a real trade that could send Embiid to South Beach. Jason Parker of NBC 6 South Florida cited speculation over the Heat focusing on either Embiid or Utah’s Donovan Mitchell. If they were serious about trading for Embiid, they would have to give up a lot.
That package would include a “combination of guards Tyler Herro and Max Strus along with forward Duncan Robinson,” according to Parker. The Heat would likely have to throw in a big man, too. The most notable pot sweetener there would be All-Star center Bam Adebayo. It’s an interesting haul. Here’s what Parker wrote:
While some in the Heat fanbase aren’t a fan of trading Adebayo to get Embiid to South Florida, it would make perfect sense. This past postseason, Embiid was statistically better and his 24 points in Game 4 against Miami kept Philly in that series. Bam, meanwhile, scored more than 18 points in just six of the Heat’s 18 total playoff games this year and had nine points or less in six games this past postseason.
Miami has time to make a move but doing it sooner rather than later would throw a monkey-wrench into a lot of team’s plans come draft night. It would let people know the Heat are ready to play and get back to the NBA Finals for the first time since the pandemic playoffs of 2020.
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Kendrick Perkins Speculates on Butler-Embiid Reunion
Most people are convinced that Embiid would have to ask for a trade to Miami to reunite with Butler. The Heat look better equipped to win a championship right now, plus Butler just inked a $184 million max extension in 2021. Follow the paper trail, right? Maybe not.
ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins believes Butler should ask for a trade to Philly where he and Embiid can finish what they started in 2018. Those two players need to play with each other.
“Those two guys need to be reunited. And it doesn’t need to be in South Beach. It needs to be in Philly,” Perkins told 6abc’s Ducis Rodgers. “Those two guys want to play with each other. Period. Point blank. And they’re not even hiding it. They’re telling you, we want to play with each other, and I actually want to see them play with each other but I want to see it happen in Philly.”
There’s only one way to make that reunion happen: Embiid needs to march into the front office and demand it.
“The front office is going to listen to him. Owners are going to listen to him,” Perkins said. “Because the one person you don’t want to piss off around there is the big fella.”
Philly Sports Radio Lines Lighting Up
Meanwhile, Philly sports talk radio lines were lighting up amid rumors of the Heat pursuing Embiid. Anthony Gargano of 97.5 The Fanatic summed it up best by saying he’d be “officially done” with the Sixers if they traded the 7-footer. And AJ Torres of Painted Lines agreed.
Remember, the idea of an Embiid trade was planted in everyone’s subconscious in the movie “Hustle.” In it, Adam Sandler’s character is told that the Sixers are trying to move the star center to the Sacramento Kings for the No. 1 overall pick. Hopefully, fiction doesn’t become reality.