With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets are expected to be among the NBA’s most elite teams next season.
Their core will be unstoppable offensively and their bench will be deep with talent. But according to multiple reports, the Nets are on the search for a third star — and are willing to give up some of their depth to do it.
While we don’t yet know who the Warriors will pursue, one name has been mentioned as a possible target: Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.
(via Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report)
If the Sixers suffer another first- or second-round postseason exit, the whispers about splitting up Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will only grow louder.
If that happens, Philly has a tough choice to make. Embiid is arguably the best all-around center in the league, a massive presence on both ends of the ball. Simmons is more uniquely talented, as the 6’10” point guard is elite defensively and is among the best passers in the NBA.
While center isn’t a need for Brooklyn with both Allen and DeAndre Jordan on the roster, Embiid is by far the superior option. He’s averaging 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 blocks in only 30.2 minutes this year, the lowest amount of playing time since his rookie season. Getting away from a crowded frontcourt with Al Horford, Tobias Harris and Mike Scott would help elevate his game. Spacing around Irving and Durant shouldn’t be an issue, either, as Embiid is shooting a respectable 34.8 percent from deep on 3.7 attempts.
The Nets can send Allen, LeVert, Dinwiddie, and two first-round picks to help the Sixers reset.
In return? The Nets would become instant title favorites. The combined forces of Durant, Irving, and Embiid would be impossible to stop. Durant and Irving are offensive juggernauts who have virtually no weakness on the offensive end.
The same can be said for Embiid, though his means of scoring those buckets are vastly different than the duo in Brooklyn. He is a back-to-the-basket center who likes to fight his way to the rim for easy scoring. Of course, he is also able to stretch the floor and hit perimeter shots when given the opportunity.
Perhaps the most glaring bonus of his game is on the defensive end. There, he could help the Nets slow down their opponents and block shots around the rim.
This season in Philly, he averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game on 47% shooting.
Expect his impact to be profound given the chance to perform next to Kyrie and Kevin Durant.