After failing to achieve their main goal in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Houston Rockets are expected to make a huge roster overhaul this fall. To have a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title, there are rumors that the Rockets are planning to make everyone on their roster, except James Harden, available in trade discussions in the 2020 offseason. One of the dream trade targets for the Rockets is All-Star center Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to Mark Camarena of Fansided’s Space City Scoop, the Rockets could send a trade package that includes Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, and Robert Covington to the Sixers in exchange for Embiid and Tobias Harris. The deal works on ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine. Though it’s hard to imagine them parting ways with Embiid this offseason, Camarena believes that the proposed scenario would also be beneficial for the Sixers.
It would not only allow them to replace Embiid with an MVP caliber player like Westbrook and two quality role players in Gordon and Covington, but it would also help them get rid of Harris and his lucrative contract.
“This would be the ideal trade for the 76ers, with Houston being the team calling for the services of Embiid, leaving the Sixers with the leverage. Philly would love to dump the contract they awarded Tobias Harris last offseason on Houston in exchange for Westbrook’s contract, which would be more costly, but for less time. The last time Covington wore a 76ers uniform he was NBA All-Defensive First Team, which they surely remember. Covington would be welcomed back with open arms and Eric Gordon would be thrown in to balance out the cap space within the trade.”
The suggested trade would be a no-brainer for the Rockets. In exchange for Westbrook, Covington, and Gordon, they would be acquiring an All-Star caliber big man capable of efficiently knocking down shots from beyond the arc. Aside from being a very reliable scoring option, Embiid is also an incredible rebounder and shot-blocker. This season, he 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, per ESPN.
Compared to Westbrook, Embiid is undeniably a much better fit with Harden. Having a floor-spacing center will make it easier for Harden to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he’s trapped by the opposing team’s defense. If they mesh well and find the perfect chemistry, the Sixers could feature their own version of a Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal winning combination next season.
Meanwhile, though he failed to live up to expectations from the massive contract he signed with the Sixers, Harris would still be a great addition to the Rockets and could serve as the third fiddle in Houston. Having a fresh start with the Rockets would allow Harris to rebuild his value and give him a better chance of winning his first championship ring next year.