Recently, Embiid sparked speculation when he expressed his desire to win a championship. He admitted uncertainty about whether it would happen in Philadelphia or elsewhere, leading to endless gibbering in the basketball world. Said Embiid, “I just want to win a championship — um, you know, whatever it takes.”
So, the speculation goes: If the Sixers trade James Harden to the LA Clippers without receiving sufficient compensation to improve their playoff forecast, Embiid might consider bailing, leading to a significant trade with league-wide implications. As Katz observes, the New York Knicks basketball club is run by Embiid’s beloved former agent, Leon Rose, is actively pursuing stars, and has mostly preserved its 47-win roster from last season.
Plug-in and win, Joel!
The path gets complicated when one considers a report from Yardbarker which states that Coach Tom Thibodeau would an obstacle:
“Embiid has privately pondered the idea of playing for the Knicks in recent years,” the scout said. “That’s not necessarily breaking news, many superstars have done the same. From what I’ve heard, he likes the idea of playing in New York but wouldn’t want to play for Thibodeau.”
And more complicated when, according to Katz, “Embiid has told people close to him for years that he values the idea of a one-team legacy.”
And even more complicated when one considers the massive return Sixers president Daryl Morey will demand for the reigning MVP.
Katz gives fans a note of encouragement, however. He explains that the Knicks have shown interest in various All-Stars, including Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls. (The asking price was “giant,” so the trade fizzled.) There are also rumors surrounding Karl-Anthony Towns, partly due to his connection to CAA, but:
According to league sources who have talked business with them, the Wolves have set a sky-high price on Towns, too. And according to another league source, in spite of what the constant speculation may tell you, the Knicks have not expressed any interest in trading for Towns.
Perhaps the most heartening takeaway is that although the Knicks brass remains fairly well positioned for a blockbuster trade, with a chest full of draft capital (four protected picks from the Mavericks, Wizards, Bucks, and Pistons) and talented young players, Leon Rose & Co. choose to wait patiently for the right star to emerge. What a relief that is for fans who have endured foolhardy Knicks front offices over the years. Competent leadership, imagine that.