The Knicks are on the hunt again for a franchise-altering and championship-caliber star to pair with Jalen Brunson, and reports indicate they may be keeping an eye on Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid.
On the latest episode of “The Hoop Collective” podcast, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said Embiid is on the Knicks’ watchlist, hoping things go “haywire” for the 76ers if the 2022-23 MVP requests a trade if he is not satisfied with his situation.
“They’re not hoping for patience, they’re hoping for The Process. I don’t know if that’s coming, but they’ve looked at that situation in Philly and there’s been a hope in New York that stuff in Philly will go haywire to the point where Embiid will ask out,” MacMahon said.
“I don’t know the percentage odds on that, I would say they are slim, but that’s been the hope.”
After the 76ers lost to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals in seven games — the third consecutive year they lost in the semis — questions have circulated about what the team will look like come next season.
The Knicks reportedly hope Joel Embiid requests a trade from Philadelphia.NBAE via Getty Images
The 76ers already made a coaching change, as former head coach Doc Rivers was fired after the Game 7 loss.
It was the seventh consecutive year Rivers has not been past the second round of the playoffs — seven seasons with the Clippers and three with the 76ers.
Philadelphia has since hired Nick Nurse five weeks after the Raptors parted ways with him after he guided them to an NBA title in 2019 and won the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2020.
It seems unlikely that Embiid — the face of the 76ers for seven years — will move on, as he sits on the brink of a four-year, $210 million supermax extension, signed last year, that does not start until next season.
If Embiid were to request a trade, it would likely would cause Philadelphia to have to rebuild again.
James Harden, who can opt out of his contract this summer, is expected to reunite with the Houston Rockets as a free agent, leaving his planned championship partner behind.
The Knicks would like to find a franchise-altering player to pair with Jalen Brunson in hopes for a NBA Champsionship.Corey Sipkin for the NY POST
Embiid, 29, earned his six-time All-Star nomination this season after averaging 33.1 points per game — his career-high — along with 10.2 rebounds per game while shooting .548% from the field.