76ers Rumors: ESPN pitches Joel Embiid trade for top NBA prospect
After yet another second-round exit in the NBA Playoffs, significant changes are already underway in the 76ers organization.
Doc Rivers is out the door, and many expect James Harden to walk in free agency, leaving no clear path for a re-tooling in 2023. One potential option remains on the table, albeit not a popular one — trading league MVP Joel Embiid.
Embiid fizzled out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Boston, scoring just 15 points on 5/18 shooting in a critical Game 7. As a result, the whispers surrounding Embiid’s inability to win in the postseason have grown louder, and the 76ers could opt to trade their superstar while at maximum value.
“Process 2.0” in Philly
San Antonio Spurs get: Joel Embiid
Both teams would be undergoing pretty drastic pivots in this scenario. For Philly, this would mark the official end of “the process era,” but instead of a full rebuild, this “Process 2.0” gets jump-started by another swing at a generational talent at the top of the draft. And San Antonio passes on the chance of a potential great player for a proven dominant center.
A move like this would be the antithesis of how the Spurs have historically operated. Without another ready star on the roster, making a move to acquire Embiid, who turns 30 next season and has a long injury history, actually makes San Antonio the team most likely to turn down this deal. But in a world where Embiid is available, the chance at Wembanyama is enough upside to make negotiations intriguing.
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For Philly, this may be their only way out unless Daryl Morey plans to punt on the 2023 season and look toward 2024. I can’t imagine Embiid signing off on that idea and wasting another year of his limited window.
Will the Sixers actually shop their two-time scoring champion? You’d have a better chance of seeing dinosaurs outside your bedroom window. But after failing to get past the second round for the sixth consecutive season, it’s a warranted conversation.
As for Webanyama, he’s set to be the next franchise cornerstone for San Antonio. With Spurs legends Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker taking the French phenom under their wings, expect Wembanyama to meet and perhaps even surpass his astronomical expectations.
Mandatory Credit: Steve Marcus | TNS