Could Trust for the Process be Waning and a Joel Embiid Trade on the Horizon?


Jul 25, 2023

Philadelphia 76ers‘ star player Joel Embiid could find himself in a challenging situation if James Harden departs. A possible Harden exit raises questions about the 76ers’ next move and overall direction. Given the 76ers’ potential to compete for an NBA championship, any Harden departure would need to yield a positive net return.

Embiid might not necessarily harbor deep affection for Harden, but he undeniably needs a strong supporting cast. The 76ers were just one win away from progressing beyond the conference semifinals last season – a stage they haven’t passed since their run to the finals in 2001. Having been so close, losing key pieces like Harden without suitable replacements could jeopardize their forward momentum.

Embiid’s situation echoes what happened last year with the Brooklyn Nets when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving requested trades. The Nets chose to hit the rebuild button, and the 76ers could potentially find themselves in a similar position, mainly if a Harden trade doesn’t deliver substantial returns to keep them in championship contention.

Despite having the reigning MVP in Joel Embiid, the 76ers might be forced to consider a reset. With new head coach Nick Nurse and valuable players like Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, the Sixers could yield significant value in potential trades – possibly securing promising young talent or draft picks.

However, under Daryl Morey‘s guidance, the 76ers’ front office will likely exhaust all options to build a championship contender around Embiid. Time, though, is starting to run out. Embiid and Maxey, while integral pieces of a championship puzzle, need more support, especially given the rising competition in the Eastern Conference.

The future of the 76ers and Embiid’s path in it, therefore, hinges on the team’s next moves. The impending decisions promise to shape the team’s course in the upcoming seasons significantly.

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Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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