2. Joel Embiid
Okay, we have one more long shot to get out of the way. I know it’s hard to remember with all the attention being spent on the Damian Lillard saga (more on that later). But there is another disgruntled superstar trying to get out of his current situation.
James Harden doesn’t want to be on a team with Daryl Morey on it. And since that team is currently the Philadelphia 76ers, he doesn’t want to play for them anymore. We’ve already talked about how we don’t think they should trade for him. But his dissatisfaction could lead to an opening for New Orleans.
Unlike Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid has stated that he is fully committed to the 76ers. However, also unlike Antetokounmpo, Embiid doesn’t have a ring. And he isn’t getting any younger, either. Simply put, he doesn’t have too many prime years left to solidify his legacy in the annals of NBA history.
What if Harden decides to sit out, orchestrate a Houston Rockets tank, or force the 76ers to trade him for pennies on the dollar? What if Philadelphia starts the season struggling to stay in the playoff race as a result?
Maybe Embiid comes to Morey and the 76ers front office and asks for a trade of his own. That would mean The Process is now officially over and that they need a new star to build around.
If Williamson can stay healthy, he could be that star. The Pelicans could trade him and some draft capital and try to build a winner around Embiid, Brandon Ingram, Trey Murphy III, and CJ McCollum.