NBA Rumors: Heat Could Reunite Joel Embiid With Jimmy Butler Using Bam Adebayo As Trade Chip
Despite how things ended for him in the City of Brotherly Love, Miami Heat small forward Jimmy Butler has maintained a good relationship with Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. The two All-Stars remain in constant communication and haven’t closed the doors on the possibility of playing together again one team. After they suffered an early playoff exit, it’s no longer a surprise that there are ongoing speculations that Embiid may consider demanding a trade from the Sixers to reunite with Butler in Miami in the 2020 offseason.
Since the 2019-20 NBA season officially came to an end for the 76ers, they have been telling everyone in the league that they have no intention of breaking up their young superstar duo of Embiid and Ben Simmons. However, according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, Sixers general manager Elton Brand could explore the possibility of sending Embiid to South Beach if the Heat would be willing to give up Bam Adebayo.
In the proposed scenario, the Heat would be sending a package that includes Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Andre Iguodala, and Kelly Olynyk to Philadelphia in exchange for Embiid. To further convince the Sixers to engage in a blockbuster deal, Miami may also include future first-round picks in the package. If the deal becomes a reality, Swartz believes that it would help both teams in improving on their rosters.
“While Sixers general manager Elton Brand may not want to break up Embiid and Ben Simmons just yet, getting a 23-year-old All-Star center back in Bam Adebayo would certainly make him consider it. Nunn enjoyed a strong rookie season with averages of 15.3 points and 3.3 assists, and he could start at point guard if the Sixers want to keep Simmons at power forward. Iguodala would bring defense and leadership in his return to the Sixers, and Olynyk shot 40.6 percent from three this season.”
With his injury history, trading for Embiid would definitely be a risky move. However, when he’s at his 100 percent health, sacrificing a young All-Star talent like Adebayo is undeniably worth it for the Heat. Embiid would give the Heat a second superstar that could help Butler carry the team next year. He’s not only an incredible rebounder and shot-blocker like Adebayo, but he’s also a prolific scorer and an efficient floor-spacer.
This season, the 26-year-old big man averaged 23.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.7 percent from the field, and 33.1 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Though they would be giving up four important members of their core in the potential blockbuster, the Heat would still be able to form a formidable starting lineup next year.
As Swartz noted, the core of Butler, Embiid, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic, and Jae Crowder would be enough to turn the Heat into one of the “best in the East” in next season.