26-year-old Joel Embiid is one of basketball’s best and brightest young centers. Since taking the NBA court for the first time in 2016, he has been absolutely phenomenal, averaging 23.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game on 47% shooting.
But Joel has reached a bit of a crossroads at this point in his career and some major changes could be in store if his team decides to blow things up.
Following another disappointing playoff run (in which they got swept by the Celtics in round one), many are of the belief that time has run out for the Embiid/Simmons duo. While the Sixers have expressed their intentions to keep the two together, it’s hard to imagine them not considering moving one of their stars if the price was right.
Insert the Miami Heat, who are stacked with motive, assets, and brilliant front-office decision-makers, and the possibility of a potential Joel Embiid deal becomes a little more plausible.
With an itch for more star power, Pat Riley could throw all his chips on the table in an offer for Embiid. Here’s what a potential deal could look like:
Miami Heat Recieve: Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Kelly Olynyk (Player Option), Duncan Robinson
Admittedly, swapping rising stars like Bam, Nunn, and Robinson for an injury-prone Embiid is a bit of a risk. Not only does Miami significantly deplete their depth, but they’re also trading for a guy who has, historically, had trouble staying on the court.
But if the big man can meet expectations, and play up to his potential, it may just be enough to push them over the edge as legitimate title contenders.
Meanwhile, for Philadelphia, this is probably the best-case-scenario. They get a young, two-way big man in Bam Adebayo and some really talented scorers in Nunn, Olynyk, and Robinson. With Ben Simmons as the new focal point of the offense, it could really thrive given some time.
Regardless of how you look at the specifics, the deal would be beneficial for both teams considering their current situation. But trading away stars is never easy and you can bet these GMs will think long and hard before they make any significant moves this summer.