The NBA’s trade deadline has come and gone, and it won’t be another few months until the league’s teams can swap players as they get ready for the 2020-21 season. However, rumors are already swirling regarding the players who might be on the move in the coming offseason, including Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. Thanks to a recent comment from former teammate Jimmy Butler on one of Embiid’s Instagram posts, the Miami Heat, in particular, have emerged as an early contender for the big man’s services. And with that in mind, a recent report discussed a hypothetical trade scenario that might allow Miami to acquire the three-time All-Star from Philadelphia.
As explained by Fadeaway World, Embiid has faced “turbulent times” this season while playing for a Sixers team that is fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 34-21 record. Aside from missing time due to injuries, the Cameroonian center has been blamed by some as the reason why the Sixers are considered a “soft team.” The outlet added that there have also been “significant” doubts regarding whether the superstar duo of Embiid and point guard Ben Simmons would be able to lead Philadelphia past other Eastern Conference contenders like the Milwaukee Bucks.
Talking about possible trade ideas, Fadeaway World suggested a deal that would allow Embiid to join the Heat and reunite him with Butler, thus giving the team two superstar players. The publication recommended sending center Bam Adebayo, guards Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic, and forward Derrick Jones Jr. to the Sixers, though with this year’s trade deadline already passed, such a transaction can only be completed this summer.
After being booed during his intro, Joel Embiid got the home crowd on its feet early ????
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 12, 2020
As explained, the hypothetical trade would allow the Sixers to replace Embiid with another All-Star center in Adebayo, add a capable young shooting guard in Nunn, and a veteran point guard in Dragic who could lessen the playmaking load on Simmons. Jones, meanwhile, was described as a skilled role player with “incredible” athleticism who could also fill a need for Philadelphia like the other players included in the package. All in all, Fadeaway World noted, this deal could give the Sixers the right tools they need to play the up-tempo game they desire.
As for the Heat, the move — should it push forward — would do more than just allow two top-tier players to join forces once again on the same organization. Fadeaway World explained that Embiid and Butler have games that “perfectly” complement each other, with both players’ defensive skills potentially making Miami a “nightmare” for other teams to face. Although the outlet stressed that the theoretical pairing cannot be compared to Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade on the mid-2000s Heat teams, it was pointed out that Miami could have the makings of a “superteam” if Embiid and Butler get to team up.