Despite making several roster improvements last summer, the Philadelphia 76ers were still struggling in the 2019-20 NBA season and have failed to live up to expectations as a supposed title contender in the Eastern Conference. In the midst of the league’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, rumors have started to swirl that the Sixers might finally consider breaking the superstar duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in the 2020 offseason. If the team decides that Embiid is the one that they should let go, several teams who are in dire need of a frontcourt boost would surely express a strong interest in acquiring the All-Star big man, including Philadelphia’s Eastern Conference rivals, the Boston Celtics.
In the hypothetical blockbuster deal that would send Embiid to Boston, David Gedeon of Fadeaway World suggested that the Celtics could offer a trade package that includes Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis, and two future first-round picks to the Sixers.
“If the Philadelphia 76ers are seriously looking to deal away Embiid, it would likely require a team who can offer stout perimeter shooting. Though the Celtics have a few enticing players, a deal landing them Embiid will likely mandate a 3rd team’s involvement. Maybe involving the Cavaliers and Kevin Love could help do the job. Either way, getting Embiid in a Celtics uniform is a difficult task for [Boston general manager Danny] Ainge.”
Before pushing forward with the trade, the Celtics would first need to convince Hayward to opt into the final year of his contract. However, if the trade becomes a reality, it would likely help both the Celtics and the Sixers in filling up the needs to improve on their roster. Since losing Al Horford in the 2019 free agency period, Boston has been active on the trade market searching for a defensive-minded big man who could fill the hole he left on their roster.
The potential arrival of Embiid in Boston wouldn’t only solve the Celtics’ problem on the defensive end of the floor, but he would also tremendously improve their offensive efficiency rating, which currently ranks No. 7 in the league, scoring 110.1 points per 100 possessions. Once Embiid builds good chemistry with Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart, the Celtics could possibly become one of the top favorites to dominate the Eastern Conference and a championship in 2020-21.
Meanwhile, the proposed move would make a lot of sense for the Sixers if they are determined to build a title-contending team around Simmons. The acquisition of Brown and Hayward would give Philadelphia enough shooting around Simmons, as he needs to maximize his effectiveness on the court. The two future first-round picks would enable the Sixers to add more young and promising talents or they could use it as trade chips to further improve their roster.