Philadelphia 76ers Will Trade Joel Embiid
The Philadelphia 76ers will trade Joel Embiid at some point in the foreseeable future. That much is clear now.
Coming into this season, the Sixers were billed as a legitimate threat to win the Eastern Conference. After coming within a single victory of the NBA Finals last year, the lofty expectations made sense.
On paper, at least, Philadelphia seemed to have all the pieces necessary for success.
Unfortunately, things just have not come together for the 76ers.
On the year, the team is 34-21 through 55 outings. That places them fifth in the East, behind the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
Worse yet, an injury-ravaged Indiana Pacers squad is just two games back of them at 32-23 through 55 outings.
At one point, the Sixers were viewed as the only team in the Eastern Conference that would be able to take down the Bucks. Now that looks like a pipe dream.
One big reason why Philadelphia has been so underwhelming this season is the lack of chemistry between Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Both players are tremendous on their own, but for whatever reason, when they are together they tend to underperform.
Recently, ESPN NBA insider Tim Bontemps reported that various execs around the NBA are predicting a scenario where the Sixers ultimately trade away Embiid.
“There is no consensus, but league execs think that if the Sixers do explore a trade, Embiid is more likely to be moved — health being the determining factor in building around Simmons,” he wrote.
“One exec added that a big trade featuring Simmons or Embiid might be the only way to reshape the team.”
The rationale makes sense. While Simmons is a strong, versatile player – Embiid is better. He is more impactful on both sides of the ball and his skill set his harder to replicate.
That said, he has one notable flaw – his tendency to get hurt.
As such, it would be hard to fault the Sixers for not wanting to bet their future on him when it is never a sure thing that he will be healthy enough to play from game to game.