The Philadelphia 76ers have gone ahead and embarrassed themselves in the NBA Playoffs again. The absence of Ben Simmons was a huge factor, but there's no reason why Philly should get swept by the Boston Celtics especially considering that Joel Embiid had a good series. The Sixers have already started making changes by firing head coach Brett Brown but could GM Elton Brand consider moving Embiid or Simmons in the NBA trade window?
Most reports suggest otherwise but this is just the beginning of the off-season. You don't know what could transpire between now and December. At the same time, you don't know which teams will come knocking at the door with a good offer.
Potential NBA trade window destinations for Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid has his injury troubles but he is, by all means, a special player. He could seriously help a franchise take the next step and on that note, here are five teams that should target Joel Embiid in the upcoming NBA trade window.
#1 Boston Celtics
If you followed the NBA Playoffs series between Boston and Philly, you'll know that defensive rebounding was a huge issue for Brad Stevens' side. They lacked an imposing big and Joel Embiid made the most of that.
While the Cs could potentially win a championship with their current squad, a Joel Embiid trade will certainly make them a dynasty. He's the only missing piece in an otherwise stacked roster boasting of both veterans and young stars. Joel Embiid won't come cheap though. The Celtics will probably have to part ways with Jaylen Brown and could also be asked to take on the bad contract of Al Horford.
If Gordon Hayward chooses to exercise his player option, he'll be shipped the other way too and the Sixers would have an expiring contract heading into the 2021 free agency. This flexibility is important considering that the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George could all be up for grabs that year.
#2 Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors suffered heavily in this campaign due to serious injuries to their star players in Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. However, the duo will be back next season and the Warriors will be looking to contend for a title again. Adding Joel Embiid will only make them all the more ruthless as the center spot seems to be their only point of concern.
Warriors GM Bob Myers is in a spot to offer a good deal to the Philadelphia 76ers as well. This year's second overall pick, Andrew Wiggins, and Eric Paschall could move the other way in return for Joel Embiid.
This gives the Sixers some space too. They could go ahead and draft themselves a future star based on their planning for the future. They will also be getting a scoring forward in Wiggins while Paschall has already shown this season that he has a bright future.
#3 Atlanta Hawks
It's been a while since the Atlanta Hawks last made significant waves in the NBA. But they're only a few moves away from becoming a potential powerhouse once again.
They'll have enough cap space to sign two superstars in free agency in 2020 or 2021 even, considering the direction they take. However, it becomes much easier to convince a superstar to join the ranks if you already boast two of them.
Size has been Atlanta's biggest problem and they worked towards it by acquiring Clint Capela. But he could be moved further to acquire Joel Embiid. Adding the sixth overall pick from this year and two young studs in John Collins and De'Andre Hunter would sweeten the deal for Philadelphia 76ers.
#4 OKC Thunder
The OKC Thunder have done well enough with their current unit to not have a crack at it again next season. However, they're certainly not a championship side in their current form and first or second-round exits won't allow them to maximize their draft stock.
The Thunder already have reliable guards to move the ball and create offense. They could improve in the center department though. Steven Adams is a good player, but he's by no means a game-changer. That's where Joel Embiid comes in. Embiid would also have a guide in Chris Paul, a luxury that's not been afforded to him in Philly.
OKC would probably have to take over the bad contract of Al Horford if the deal is to be struck in the first place, but given the list of rookie contracts they have, they can afford to do so. For Philly, they could get a load out of the Thunder's war chest of draft picks in addition to the expiring contract of Steven Adams.
A 2-year sign-and-trade deal for Danilo Gallinari with a team option would sweeten the deal and allow Philly to keep their options open for the 2021 free-agent market.
#5 Indiana Pacers
Looking at the build-up of their roster and salary breakdowns, it's safe to claim that the Indiana Pacers are one blockbuster trade away from becoming a potential contender. Joel Embiid is the one player that fits their requirements. The Pacers are a bad rebounding team, need to get to the free-throw line more often, and also require some spacing on the floor. 'The Process' would offer all of that.
In return, president Kevin Pritchard can offer Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner. The Pacers have managed more or less without Oladipo throughout the year but he's still a legitimate star to entice Philadelphia 76ers. Additionally, he's also on an expiring contract. Turner would be the straight swap at the 5.
Published 25 Aug 2020, 19:13 IST