What's the rumor?
Heading into the season, the Philadelphia 76ers were among the favorites to advance from the Eastern Conference. However, Brett Brown's team currently sit a disappointing 5th in the East standings with a 33-21 record - and there are doubts over whether the Sixers can compete with the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors in the playoffs.
Questions have been asked over the All-Star partnership of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, and ESPN's Brian Windhorst is reporting that there is a growing belief around the league that the Sixers could look into trading Embiid:
One of the conversations people are starting to have in the league is 'will they move Embiid? What's the price? Where would he go?.. It's such a radical thing, but the fact that we're in mid-February and the people who work in the league, who have to prepare in advance, are mulling over Joel Embiid potentially coming to market.
In case you didn't know...
The Sixers selected Embiid with the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. The Cameroonian didn't make his debut until October 2016 due to injuries but quickly established himself as one of the best bigs in the NBA.
Embiid has featured 38 times this season, averaging 22.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game - and the center will make his third consecutive All-Star appearance in Chicago this weekend.
The heart of the matter
Embiid and Simmons both have their prime years ahead of them - and it seemed that the Sixers would be contenders for years to come with the All-Star duo.
However, despite occasional signs of promise, Embiid and Simmons have struggled to mesh on the court - and while it currently seems unlikely that Philadelphia would trade the star center - a poor showing in the postseason could force their hand.
The Sixers are back in action tonight as they take on the LA Clippers. They then play the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.Published 12 Feb 2020, 04:24 IST