The Golden State Warriors should make an aggressive move for Joel Embiid.
The Golden State Warriors are nothing short of a basketball dynasty, even despite the streak of finals appearances ending at the bubble’s start. After all, if Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were healthy all year, Golden State would almost certainly be a title contender in Orlando.
But the ‘hiatus’ year brings new opportunities for the Warriors to return to its former glory much quicker than NBA fans realize. While some say the Dubs should use the second pick on James Wiseman or LaMelo Ball, the team should have its eye on Joel Embiid instead.
After the firing of Brett Brown, many speculated the Sixers might be looking to trade Embiid, Simmons, or both. Instead, general manager Elton Brand publicly came out and said he is looking to make trades, but not interested in moving either star.
However, as seen with the Thunder, a lot can change in one offseason. Oklahoma City had yet another frustrating first-round exit that resulted in the franchises two best players demanding a trade.
Frankly, the Sixers had an uglier first-round exit than Oklahoma the previous year. With the quick firing of Brett Brown, most players seem happy about the move. But lack of stability results in lots of movement, and Joel Embiid could be the next superstar in a high profile trade.
What would the Warriors have to give up in a possible Joel Embiid trade?
Should the Warriors make a move for the Cameroonian All-Star, it will come at a tremendous cost. The first and most painful part of the trade would be Draymond Green.
Green showed that he is dependent on Curry and Thompson to be a dominant presence on the court. This season without the splash brothers, Green posted an abysmal 12.5 PER.
Additionally, a brand new extension to his name makes moving him the best way to match Embiid’s salary in a trade.
Accompanying him would be Kevon Looney almost solely for cap reasons. The third part of this deal leads to why the Sixers would take this trade.
Philly would receive the Warriors’ No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft, which would allow them to bring in primary ball-handler LaMelo Ball.
Standing at 6-foot-7 will be a physical force at the one spot, and his ability to be a floor general will fill a desperate need for the Sixers. While in the bubble, the team suffocated with Shake Milton running their offense.
Bringing in LaMelo Ball as a result of this trade will resolve those problems immediately. Additionally, while they will not replace his skill level, they can replace his production.
Having the likes of Ben Simmons, Al Horford, and Draymond Green in the paint will soften the blow of Embiid’s departure.
On the Warriors end, they get a day-one starter and the perfect complement to their dynamic backcourt. Embiid will the team get back to an elite level on the defensive end. As a seven-footer who can hit threes, he can help them space out the offense.
While the move would be bold, depending on the Sixers offseason’s subsequent events, this could be a realistic trade for both teams. For the Warriors, it could mean another championship as soon as next season.