With the state of this NBA season still a major question, teams around the association are using this hiatus as an opportunity to consider ways to improve their roster for when things finally return to some semblance of normal.
No trades are imminent at the moment, but it doesn’t mean that something won’t happen in the weeks or months to come.
The Philadelphia 76ers, for example, are due for a roster tweak and we have an idea of one that may prove beneficial for them.
Consider this: Joel Embiid to the Celtics for Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and a future first-round pick.
For the Celtics, their accumulation of young and upcoming talent is great, but it’s going to get very expensive. With Tatum as a lock for the future, guys like Brown, Smart, and even Gordon Hayward may become expendable if Boston deems them not worthy of the money they command. A Brown/Smart swap for a guy like Joel Embiid not only ensures they have to pay one star instead of two, but it will have them paying a guy who is a proven star instead of two questionable youngsters who have yet to accomplish much of anything. Additionally, Embiid gives them that “man in the middle” type they’ve been seeking for years.
Philly, meanwhile, will hand over the keys of the franchise to Ben Simmons, who should have plenty of room to operate in the absence of Embiid. With Brown and Smart, they’d get both an offensive and defensive kick on the perimeter — a perfect fit next to Simmons. They also get a pick, which they can use a part of another deal.
This is just one of the countless trade options for both teams. While there is no promise they will trade anyone at all, they will likely consider anything and everything as the NBA season prepares its much-anticipated return.