NBA rumors: Knicks monitoring Joel Embiid trade availability amid Harden saga

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Knicks are remaining patient. Will Joel Embiid do the same with the Sixers?

The NBA, particuarly in the offseason, is never short of drama. While many can take credit for that, the Sixers — for better or worse — are often responsible.

The tumultuous franchise has made headlines three summers running:

  • 2021: Ben Simmons trade saga
  • 2022: Punished for tampering for P.J. Tucker and Danuel House
  • 2023: James Harden saga

While this provides entertainment for the neutral fans and likely elation for the Sixers rivals, you have to begin to wonder how Sixers reigning-MVP center Joel Embiid feels about it.

Only a few days ago, Embiid hinted at leaving the Sixers for the first time ever.

Regardless of whether or not you think Embiid is being serious — he did remind one Tweeter that his middle-name on the platform is “TROEL” — there’s no denying that there is at least a somewhat decent chance that Embiid does actually request a trade sometime in the next year.

The examples of franchise drama listed earlier are just from the last three summers. During Embiid’s time with the organization there has also been the Bryan Colangelo burner saga, the Jimmy Butler trades, Al Horford max contract, Tobias Harris max contract, Markelle Fultz saga, Zhaire Smith saga, and probably more we’re forgetting.

No matter how big Embiid’s appetite for this stuff is – it’s clear he even enjoys it at times – he will turn 30 next season and probably wants to win a championship or at least make it past the second round of the playoffs?

On the flip side, the Sixers will have to ask themselves at a certain point if Embiid is the guy who can lead them to the promised land or do they need to consider a new chapter in their history?

There’s plenty of blame to go around in regards to the Sixers process era postseason failures and Embiid should not be considered immune to it given his own consistent struggles in the months of April and May.

NBA Rumors: Knicks monitoring Joel Embiid’s relationship with 76ers

The reality is that the entire league probably is interested in Embiid’s status, but it appears that the New York Knicks have the most keen eye on the situation and in fact, may be intentionally positioning themselves to act swiftly should it eventually break bad.

According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, the Knicks are continuing to watch Embiid and the Sixers closely. Leon Rose took over the Knicks front office in 2020, before that he was an agent and one of his client was… Joel Embiid.

Katz also notes that the Knicks have long planned to acquire a star via trade, and not free agency. A trend that has endured in the league for quite a few seasons now.

The Knicks made a hard push for native Donovan Mitchell last summer, but ultimately the Jazz maintained an asking price that they refused to meet and decided to deal him to the Cleveland Cavaliers instead.

Embiid remains on their list of players to cash in for. Should the Harden saga be the last straw for Embiid in Philadelphia, it seems like the Knicks will attempt to do exactly that.

NBA Rumors. 3 teams that should trade for Joel Embiid. light