Since the 2019-20 NBA season officially started, rumors have been swirling nonstop around the Philadelphia 76ers. Last Thursday's trade deadline may have passed with the Sixers' core intact, but another controversy is once again emerging in the City of Brotherly Love, this time involving All-Star center Joel Embiid.
In a recent episode of Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN's Brian Windhorst discussed several topics, including Embiid and his future with the Sixers. The team may be currently focused on winning a championship in the current season, but Windhorst revealed that several league executives are already "mulling over" and preparing "in advance" for the possibility of the big man's departure from Philadelphia in the summer of 2020.
"But anyways, 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?' I'm not going to get into that, but my point is people are talking about that. I don't think they would do that without making an adjustment to the head coach. 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, whether that's true or not," Windhorst said, as quoted by RealGM.The rumors surrounding Embiid were initially based on his supposed failure to co-exist with the other cornerstone of the Sixers' franchise, Ben Simmons. Though Philadelphia considers both of them as the players that could end their years of title drought, the past seasons showed that they couldn't fit alongside each other. With their inability to consistently win games in the 2019-20 NBA season and failure to live up to expectations as a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference, some observe are thinking that it's finally time for the Sixers to break the duo of Simmons and Embiid.
The trade speculation involving Embiid heated up after his former Sixers teammate, Jimmy Butler, commented on his Instagram post. Most people perceived Butler's comments as a way of recruiting the big man to the Miami Heat, who have been aggressive on the market, searching for additional star power. As of now, Philadelphia hasn't shown any strong indication that they are planning to trade their star center in the summer of 2020.
However, if they continue to disappoint, Embiid may consider following the footsteps of other superstars and demand a trade from the Sixers. If he becomes officially available on the trading block, one can expect NBA teams who are in dire need of a frontcourt boost to make an immediate offer to Philadelphia.