Joel Embiid is arguably the best player for a Philadelphia 76ers team that should legitimately be a contender in the East. He has all the tools to dominate the game, including a traditional post-up game and even range extending to the three-point line. Embiid is also a very dominant defensive player when he is locked in, making him an MVP candidate every single year.
But he has faced some turbulent times this season. Beyond the usual nagging injuries he has dealt with since his rookie season, Embiid has had some pretty low moments including a game where he registered zero points for an entire game. Not to mention, Philadelphia is getting the reputation of being a soft team without a killer instinct. As the best player on the team, all fingers are starting to point at Embiid.
As a result, there is talk that Philly will want to move on from Embiid. While he is a superstar talent, he plays a position that is becoming increasingly undervalued as teams look to employ pace and space. Philly wants to play in an uptempo style, and there are significant doubts if both Embiid and Ben Simmons can play together at a high level. Perhaps moving on from Embiid will help the Sixers aim in the right direction, as they took a massive step behind the Milwaukee Bucks and even the Boston Celtics.
Interestingly, the Miami Heat is a team that is always looking to boost their title chances and have a one-star player in Jimmy Butler already. They made some key moves by trading for Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, and want to keep adding quality players to further an Eastern Conference Finals run. There is talk that the Heat are interested in Embiid since the reunion of Butler and Embiid will likely place them among the elite of the East. Here is how Philly can revamp their roster by moving Embiid, while the Heat grabs their second-star player.
Miami Heat Recieve: Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic (sign and trade), Derrick Jones Jr.
This trade gives Philly some nice young talent in Adebayo, who is an All-Star to replace Embiid and Nunn who is one of the best rookies of the year so far. Not to mention, they grab a veteran point guard who can spread the floor and also relieve some playmaking duties off of Ben Simmons. Jones Jr. is a very capable role player who has incredible athleticism, something the Sixers do not currently have. By giving Philly some depth and a replacement for Embiid, they might position themselves for playing a faster style.
For the Heat, they acquire their second star to place the likes of Iguodala and Crowder around, along with sharpshooter Duncan Robinson.
The combination of Butler and Embiid makes them a defensive nightmare who can each score 20+ points on a nightly basis with ease. They also have experience playing with each other, and even had a deep playoff run alongside one another.
Butler and Embiid also seem to complement each other’s games perfectly, more so than Simmons and Embiid who both prefer to play closer to the basket. Butler gives him a lot more spacing and will make the Heat very formidable when Embiid is double-teamed down low.
The Miami Heat are known for making big moves, and acquiring the likes of Joel Embiid can possibly a flashback to the time the Hear acquired Shaq to join Dwyane Wade. While Embiid is not Shaq, and Butler is not on Wade’s level, this is a very strong starting point for a potential superteam that is built on defense and balanced scoring.