After the Philadelphia 76ers got swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2020 Playoffs, rumors began to swirl around All-Star center Joel Embiid and his future with the team. No matter how many times Sixers General Manager Elton Brand said that they have no intention of breaking their young superstar duo, most people still expect Embiid to be one of the most coveted big men on the trade market this fall. Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, several teams in dire need of a frontcourt boost and additional star power are expected to express a strong interest in acquiring Embiid in the 2020 offseason, including the Atlanta Hawks.
Bringing Embiid to Atlanta wouldn’t be cheap. In order to convince the Sixers to engage in a blockbuster deal, the Hawks will likely need to pay a king’s ransom. However, according to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Hawks shouldn’t think twice before going all-in for Embiid. In the proposed trade scenario, Atlanta would be sending a package that includes Clint Capela, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and a top-three protected 2022 first-round pick to Philadelphia in exchange for Embiid.
If the deal becomes a reality, Buckley believes that it would help both the Sixers and the Hawks improve their rosters.
“The Sixers might need to sacrifice one star to save themselves. That’s the only way they’re replenishing the cupboards, which this deal definitely does. Capela is the athletic rim-runner Simmons needs at his side, as the two could do damage in transition and pick-and-rolls. Huerter steps into the spot-up sniper role JJ Redick used to fill. Hunter adds another three-and-D option. The picks either lead to high-upside prospects or facilitate another trade.”
Meanwhile, sacrificing three players and two first-round picks would definitely be worth it for the Hawks if it means acquiring a player of Embiid’s caliber. His arrival in Atlanta would tremendously boost their performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option, monster rebounder, facilitator, quality rim protector, and floor-spacer. This season, the 26-year-old big man averaged 23 points, 11.6 rebounds, three assists, and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from the three-point range, according to ESPN.
The successful acquisition of Embiid could change the Hawks’ fate in the 2020-21 NBA season. If he meshes well with Trae Young and John Collins, Atlanta may not only end their playoff drought, but they could also have a realistic chance of challenging powerhouse teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Clippers in a best-of-seven series.