NBA Trades: This swing-for-the-fences deal is a must for the Knicks

Julius Randle #30 and Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Julius Randle #30 and Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /
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Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers NBA (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

NBA Trade: Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers already have one star in Harden, who has demanded a trade, and Embiid could soon follow suit. That would all but guarantee a full teardown, with Team President Daryl Morey likely to prioritize draft picks for his two stars.

The Knicks, who were once known to practically give away draft picks, have smartly hoarded them. They own all of their first-rounders going forward and also have some potentially valuable selections from the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks that they can use instead of their own to acquire Embiid.

That helps both the Knicks and Sixers since the Knicks may be more willing to give up three firsts if only one of them is actually coming from them. On the other hand, the Knicks wouldn’t figure to be bad in the near future after landing a 29-year-old superstar. That would make their first-round picks much less valuable, certainly less so than the Mavericks’ 2024 selection after they missed the playoffs last season and the Bucks’ 2025 selection with their core aging around Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Additionally, Robinson is a young athletic starting center, and Barrett is a talented young wing who could be a long-term fit in Philadelphia. That trade might not knock the socks off Sixers fans, but any return for Embiid should be looked at in tandem with any return for Harden.

NBA Trades: 4 NBA stars who will be next to demand a trade. light. Trending

Getting two young starters and three picks is a great start for a rebuild, and moving Harden would hopefully net them at least a couple more. Based on that, I wouldn’t be surprised if any deal between the Knicks and Sixers for Embiid would be similar to this proposed deal.