A new “Process” would begin for the Philadelphia 76ers if the franchise ever acquired the rights to the NBA’s No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft, Victor Wembanyama, like The Sixer Sense’s Jonathan Geib proposed. In Geib’s proposal — one the Sixers Sense writer deems as unlikely –, the Sixers would send out reigning MVP Joel Embiid to the San Antonio Spurs for the potentially generational 19-year-old Frenchman to be paired with guard Tyrese Maxey.
“The Sixers would be able to restart The Process with Maxey and Wembanyama, likely the most talented young duo in the league, and have them under contract for years to come,” Geib wrote. “Even though they may have a drop-off and not necessarily be competitive for the first couple of years, the future potential is terrifying for every other team in the NBA.”
Meanwhile, in the Alamo City, the Spurs would be able to immediately re-tool their roster with Embiid in tow to maximize the remaining years left of Gregg Popovich’s Spurs tenure, argues Geib.
“The Spurs on the other hand would be plugging in the league MVP to a cast of role players that would all benefit from the attention paid to Embiid,” Geib wrote. “They would still have the cap room to sign veteran talent to build the roster around and 74-year-old Gregg Popovich would not have to stay around to coach until he was nearly 80 to reap the benefits of an NBA that might one day belong to Wembanyama.”
Joel Embiid ‘Untouchable’ According to Sixers Analyst
While Geib had fun with the possibility of San Antonio and Philadelphia exchanging two transformational frontcourt forces, the Sixers Sense writer ultimately does believe Embiid is untouchable in trade talks.
“Embiid is coming off arguably his best season, winning his first NBA Most Valuable Player award and having led the league in scoring for the second consecutive season,” Geib prefaced before saying, “He is untouchable in my mind and why shouldn’t he be? Embiid is still in his prime and he may still have a higher ceiling to reach.”
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said on the June 1 edition of “The Hoop Collective” podcast that the New York Knicks are one team who is monitoring the Sixers’ situation with Embiid with the hopes that things “go haywire.”
“They’re not hoping for patience, they’re hoping for The Process. I don’t know if that’s coming, but they’ve looked at that situation in Philly and there’s been a hope in New York that stuff in Philly will go haywire to the point where Embiid will ask out,” MacMahon said.
Things haven’t spiraled out of control in the City of Brotherly Love just yet, but it’s still early in the offseason and James Harden hasn’t spurned the franchise yet (it’s strongly rumored to happen) after its head coach, Doc Rivers, was fired on May 16.
Victor Wembanyama a Culture Fit on San Antonio Spurs
Inside The Spurs’ Matt Guzman believes that Wembanyama will prove to be a great on-court fit for the Spurs and culturally off the court in the city of San Antonio. As Guzman describes, Wembanyama’s love of art is not much different than the interests of the city.
“Every night before he goes to sleep, Wembanyama sets time aside to read, known to be a science fiction fan,” Guzman wrote. “He also enjoys visiting art galleries, where he can spend time on other things beside basketball — though he does have to bend down to see some of his favorite exhibits.”
As the Frenchman said himself, the game of basketball is an art form.
“Each line, each dot (on a clipboard playbook) is a pass or a basket during a game,” Wembanyama said. “Every game is an artwork in of itself.”
It sounds like the Sixers would only be getting in the way of a beautiful fit between Wembanyama and a franchise that turned three other Frenchman (Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Nando de Colo) into champions if they ever offered up Embiid for the presumed 2023 No. 1 overall draft pick — presumably damaging their relationship with the reigning MVP in the process.