After suffering an early exit in the 2020 Playoffs, rumors have started to circulate around Joel Embiid and his future with the Philadelphia 76ers. With their struggles in taking the next step in contending for the NBA title, there is speculation that the Sixers could finally decide to break up the young superstar duo of Embiid and Ben Simmons. If the Sixers decide to move Embiid, several teams who are eyeing the All-Star center for their roster are expected to express a strong interest in acquiring him, including the Chicago Bulls.
Bringing a player of Embiid’s caliber to Windy City comes with a huge price. To convince the Sixers to engage in a blockbuster deal, the Bulls will likely be needing to make a gargantuan offer. However, according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, the Bulls shouldn’t think twice before going “all-in” if the Sixers will make him available on the trade market this fall.
“The Bulls should be a fringe playoff team next year before setting themselves up as a possible free-agent destination in 2021. Getting Joel Embiid now would help them with both. If the Philadelphia 76ers decide to break up their Ben Simmons-Embiid core, the Bulls should go all-in for the three-time All-Star. Even his averages of 23.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 blocks this season seem modest compared to what Embiid could put up with the right type of roster around him.”
As Swartz noted, the Bulls would be hitting two birds with one stone with the potential acquisition of Embiid in the 2020 offseason. Aside from giving them a realistic chance of ending their playoff drought next year, the presence of Embiid in Chicago would also make them a more attractive destination for free agents in the summer of 2021. Free agency in 2021 will be loaded with plenty of big names including Giannis Antetokoumpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers, and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Taking his talent to the Bulls may also end up being beneficial for Embiid. Unlike in Philadelphia, he will be immediately declared as the face of the franchise in Chicago. The Bulls may not be a better team than the Sixers right now, but they may be capable of building a more competitive roster around Embiid. Pairing him with a floor-spacing big man like Lauri Markkanen and “three-point happy” guards like Zach LaVine and Coby White could maximize his potential on the court.