Even as the Portland Trail Blazers were fighting for their playoff lives yesterday, they struggled to keep up with the Nets, who continued to fight in spite of their current circumstances.
Without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and most of their starting lineup, the "next man up" mentality in Brooklyn has fared pretty well for them. They're 5-3 in the bubble.
But next season is where their true hope lies. Upon the return of their stars, they are projected to be among the best teams in the East. Can you imagine what it'd be like to add Joel Embiid to the mix?
However unlikely it might seem, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report recently illustrated a scenario in which the Nets could form a powerful big three with KD, Kyrie, and a certain superstar big man from Philly.
Brooklyn Nets receive: Joel Embiid Philadelphia
76ers receive: Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, DeAndre Jordan, 2020 first-round pick (via PHI), 2021 second-round pick (via ATL), 2022 first-round pick (top-three protected)
“If the Sixers deem major change necessary, that could put Embiid on the trade block, since his lengthy injury history makes him shakier than most centerpieces. But as the final piece to Brooklyn’s Big Three, he’d be perfect. Imagine having to chose between letting Embiid, Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving going one-on-one with their defender. If the Nets bring back Joe Harris in free agency like he hopes, defenses also can’t forget about him or his career 42.7 percent three-point stroke. This should be a top-five attack, and with Embiid on the back line, it might be a top-10 defense, too.”
Embiid is averaging 23,2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game this season. One has to think that with two more stars, and perimeter shooters surrounding him, those numbers would only go up.
The question regarding Embiid is his health. Considering what the Nets would have to give up for him, is it worth the deal when you bear in mind Joel's extensive injury history?
There are obviously a number of factors to consider, but it'd be hard for any team to deny an opportunity to team up three of the best players in the league.