joel embiid
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

We recently built a hypothetical trade that could bring reigning MVP and Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid to the Knicks. Today, rumors involving the star seven-footer have some more legs.

ESPN’s Tim McMahon recently appeared on Brian Windhorst’s “The Hoop Collective” podcast. He reported that as pertains to Embiid, New York executives hope things will “go haywire” and Embiid will demand a trade. Additionally, McMahon stated the Knicks were “hoping for The Process,” implying that Philadelphia could opt to rebuild.

We said in our proposed trade that there was no better time than now to trade for Joel Embiid. The Sixers don’t have first-round picks this year or in 2025. A reigning MVP should fetch at least three first-rounders in a trade. Maybe even more if a third team is involved.

There’s also no telling how Embiid will get along with new Sixers coach Nick Nurse. The former Raptors coach won a ring in 2019, but is more of a tactician than the old-school Doc Rivers. Nurse also runs a more guard and wing-oriented offense. Nothing against Embiid, but that sounds more ideal for teammate Tyrese Maxey than it does him.

There’s also James Harden’s impending departure. Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer reports he’ll head back to Houston in free agency. But even then, Tobias Harris’ max contract leaves the Sixers without much cap flexibility. He can always be traded and perhaps Philadelphia adds Nurse favorite Fred VanVleet in free agency. Even so, those moves don’t put the Sixers over the top.

This is all speculation, especially with the NBA Draft just three weeks away. But the fact of the matter is Joel Embiid’s value is never going to be any higher than it is now. The Knicks should be calling Daryl Morey day in and day out trying to see if he’ll budge on trading his MVP.

Morey should at least listen to offers now because if things do indeed “go haywire,” then Embiid’s price tag will drop faster than the Sixers in the standings.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.