Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
At least for now, it would seem unimaginable for the Philadelphia 76ers to willingly trade Joel Embiid. However, there is a path toward the 76ers being forced to trade Embiid. Let’s look at their situation a bit. If the 76ers don’t get a great return for James Harden via trade, the team is likely going to take a step back in the Eastern Conference this season. For a player in the middle of his prime, Embiid doesn’t want to take steps back. It would be extremely demoralizing for his championship chances if the 76ers lose Harden for pennies on the dollar.
Harden is no longer in the prime of his career, but he’s still a really good player. Losing him won’t be easy for the 76ers to overcome. And, in the process, it could lead to Embiid requesting a trade away from Philadelphia. That could open the door for the Pelicans to swoop in and build a package around Williamson to offer for Embiid.
The trio of McCollum, Ingram, and Embiid is better than Philly’s trio of Tyrese Maxey, Harden, and Embiid from this past season. You can argue that the Pelicans would be a legit contender in the West with the addition of Embiid.
With his injury concerns, you can argue that Williamson may never even get to the point where Embiid is at this point in his career individually as a talent. If the Pelicans could swap Williamson (and draft capital) for Embiid, there really should be no debate.