With all the uncertainty surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers after yet another playoff elimination in the second round, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report proposed a trade that would help the Sixers start fresh, which would mean trading Joel Embiid and James Harden.
Favale proposed the following.
San Antonio Spurs receive: Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, and a 2025 second-round pick from the Houston Rockets
Philadelphia 76ers receive: No. 1 pick in 2023, Keldon Johnson and Doug McDermott, Jalen Green, a 2025 first-round pick from the Rockets (via Oklahoma City or Boston), and a 2026 second-round pick from the Wizards
Washington Wizards receive: Tobias Harris, Devonte’ Graham, Zach Collins, Daishen Nix, and a 2025 first-round pick from the Spurs
Houston Rockets receive: James Harden, Khem Birch, and Johnny Davis
Favale explained why he believes the Sixers would agree to a trade like that, starting with Tyrese Maxey.
“This deal presupposes Harden picking up his player option as part of the trade. And there’s no reason to expect Maxey wouldn’t take a leap in the event of Harden leaving. Over the last two postseasons, he’s averaged 20.7 points.
But what if that leap came alongside 19-year-old Wembanyama instead of the 29-year-old Embiid?”
Favale added that doing this trade would help kickstart a rebuild that would put Maxey on the same timeline as the players acquired in the trade as well as help them financially.
“Giving up the reigning MVP seems absurd, but Wembanyama (again, potentially one of the greatest prospects in the history of the sport), 22-year Maxey, 23-year old Keldon Johnson, and 21-year-old Jalen Green would make for a heck of a core for a reboot.
And unloading James Harden and Tobias Harris as part of this deal would give the Sixers exceptionally clean books with a lot more cap flexibility going forward.”
Joel Embiid Linked to Knicks in Report
After Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Harden is expected to go back to the Rockets this summer, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News added that the New York Knicks have had interest in Embiid and that interest has only grown since the Sixers’ elimination.
“Been told since midseason that Joel Embiid is the guy to watch for the Knicks, and Philly’s playoff flameout only intensified that belief,” Bondy wrote.
When asked how the Knicks could pull off a deal, Bondy admitted that doing such would be complex.
“That I have no idea. It would be very complicated and require many things to happen that are not in Knicks control,” Bondy wrote.
Kendrick Perkins Thinks Joel Embiid Should Want Out
Kendrick Perkins explained why Embiid should not only want Harden off the Sixers but why he should demand a trade on a May 19 episode of ESPN’s First Take.
“To be honest with you, I think Joel Embiid should want Harden to walk. I think he deserves better than James Harden, and if it comes to Harden making the decision on who the coach is gonna be, then I think Joel Embiid should force his way out because here’s the thing, it’s bad enough that they didn’t even consult or even ask Joel Embiid about Doc Rivers or whether or not he wanted to keep Doc Rivers, that’s insulting right there because this is your league MVP.”
Perkins explained why Embiid should not trust Daryl Morey.
“This is your franchise guy. He has led the league in scoring two years in a row. You at least have to ask him (about Rivers). This is not about James Harden, and this is the problem that I have. If I’m Joel Embiid, there’s no way in hell I’m trusting Daryl Morey with the love affair that he has with James Harden, that he’s gonna do right by Joel Embiid.”