Joel Embiid has not requested a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, but that could change if things don’t improve. The New York Knicks clearly have their eyes peeled in case Embiid wants out. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported that the Knicks are willing to offer their biggest (and highest-paid) star: Julius Randle.
“The New York Knicks are willing to offer a package that includes three key players, with Julius Randle, R.J. Barrett, Evan Fournier, and Mitchell Robinson all available in exchange for Joel Embiid, according to sources. A trio from that group would be paired with two or three first-round picks,” Pompey reported on X on October 24.
“Joel Embiid loves Philly. But he could love it from a distance if the James Harden saga ends poorly.”
If Embiid makes a trade request, the Knicks could offer first-round assets on top of that package. The conundrum is that the Sixers may not be willing to trade the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player to a division rival. Plus, the Sixers will likely scope out the market first to see if there’s anyone of better value than Randle, who is entering just the second year of a four-year, $117 million deal that he signed in 2022.
Joel Embiid Trade Unlikely to Happen This Season: Report
Though the Knicks are interested in Embiid, Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News reported that Embiid won’t likely be traded during the 2023-24 season.
“For now, it appears the Embiid report was preemptive,” Winfield reported in an October 24 story. “An Embiid trade is not expected to come until next summer if it comes at all, according to league sources.”
While it appears Embiid is content to stay with the Sixers for now, that does not mean there could not be any trouble in the near future. The James Harden saga is still an active situation for the Sixers. If the Sixers can’t use the assets they’ll get back for Harden to trade for another star, they may possibly take a step back in the Eastern Conference standings. That could be all it takes for Embiid to want out.
James Harden Tending to Sick Mother: Report
Harden was absent for all of the Sixers’ preseason games because he was away from the team on a personal matter, the team said on October 20. However, on October 24, NBA Insider Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson reported that Harden has been away because he is tending to his ill mother, though he didn’t release much further details.
“Harden’s return is uncertain because he’s tending to his mom, who is ill,” Robinson wrote on X. “The mindset of the 76ers PG is that the health of his mother comes first.”
The source told Robinson that, “Hopefully, he returns, but family comes first.”
On October 25, ESPN reported that Harden was back with the team for practice ahead of their October 26 season opener on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Harden, 34, will enter his 15th season in the league projected to score 20.6 points per game, according to Basketball Reference. That would be his lowest average since his third season in the league.