Grading the Trade: BR misses the mark on potential Joel Embiid trade

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder have all the assets in the world, which will lead to every mock trade from now until 2030 (should we be lucky enough to get there), including the franchise in their hypothetical transactions. So each time a superstar hits the open market or even is whispered to possibly hit the open market eventually, the Oklahoma City Thunder see their name through in the mix. This is the same with Joel Embiid, who, as of now, has yet to request a trade.

Though the state of the 76ers is in flux, with star guard James Harden and Daryl Morey publicly beefing to the point it sparks an NBA investigation, it is not impossible to see a path for an Embiid trade request. That sparked Bleacher Report to assemble a few mock trades for the MVP big man.

OKC Thunder mock trade for Joel Embiid shows why the team should remain patient with this young core.

The Oklahoma City Thunder surprised a lot of people a year ago, leaping into the 40-win mark with an NBA Play-in tournament bid that ended a game shy of making the first round of the NBA playoffs. They did all that without Chet Holmgren, who missed the entire season with a foot injury.

Along with getting Holmgren back, the OKC Thunder have added top-ten pick Cason Wallace, two-time EuroLeague MVP and Champion Vasilije Micic, Keyontae Johnson, and veteran sniper Davis Bertans. This has led to NBA fans, both local and national, to root for the OKC Thunder, making a star-studded splash, hitting the acceleration button on this rebuild.

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To this point, the Oklahoma City Thunder prefer to slow play things to build a sustainable contender. While many OKC Thunder fans expect the organization to be all-in this season, development will be at the forefront from Mark Daigneault. Given how talented and deep this team is, that will likely still lead to regular season wins, but it is not the end all be all necessarily.

Bleacher Report compiled a list of trades that could make the Philadelphia 76ers say yes to trading away their superstar in, Joel Embiid, and hitting the reset button in the city of brotherly love. Their idea for a potential Thunder deal highlights why OKC is taking a patient approach.

Giving away Chet Holmgren on a cheap, controllable contract with all the potential in the world, as well as one of your best rotational players and three first-round picks, is a lot to pay, even for an MVP. We have yet to see this coach or most of this team’s players compete in a playoff series. It is far too soon to go all in on Joel Embiid.

Embiid, who has had his fair share of injury issues missing his first two seasons entirely before playing 31 games in his third year, he has yet to crack the 70-game mark in the regular season. The postseason has not been all that kind to Joel Embiid, who has never made it past the second round.

While the one advantage to making this move would be keeping Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and Jalen Williams intact while adding an MVP-caliber player, Embiid will end this season as a 30-year-old with injury issues and only two years of control left before he can elect to reject his player option and become a free agent for likely his last huge payday.

In NBA 2k, this would be a good move as pure attribute swaps, but without knowing how this team will mesh in the postseason or the ceiling of this current core, it is just not the right time for Sam Presti to pull the trigger on a big move.

This is the National Basketball Association, the next big star is just moments away from demanding a change of scenery, the Thunder can afford to be patient, and another disgruntled star is coming down the pipeline with better timing for the organization, who will always have the assets to land a big name.

Next. Chet Holmgren will be tested early next season for the OKC Thunder. dark