Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid will never, ever, ever be traded

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Despite what some would like you to believe, the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t going to trade Joel Embid. Why? Easy, Joel Embiid is the Philadelphia 76ers.

Alright, I’d like to get this out-of-the-way right from the jump: I lied to you.

I can’t definitively say that Joel Embiid will never, ever, ever be traded. I’m not a psychic, and I don’t play one on TV. Could the day eventually come 10 years down the line when The Process himself is included in a deal after his prime is long since passed? It’s totally possible.

But until that day, if it ever comes at all, Joel Embiid isn’t just the heart and soul – and best player – on the Philadelphia 76ers; Joel Embiid is the Philadelphia 76ers.

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Before The Processed One graced an NBA court in 2016, two full seasons removed from being selected third overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, Brett Brown was infamous for running one of the fastest offenses in the NBA – built on a steady diet of ball movement, cutting, and taking a whole lot of 3s.

That all changed when Embiid came to town, and rightfully so. Embiid isn’t the modern-day ultra-athletic rim running center. Nerlens Noel is close to the prototypical defensive NBA center, and 31 games of Embiid were enough to punch his ticket out-of-town following a two-year tenure as the team’s starting center. Embiid also isn’t Jahlil Okafor, a throwback center who gets buckets with his back to the basket despite lacking the athleticism to be an alley-oop threat.

No, Embiid is Shaq. Embiid is 2010-11 Dwight Howard. Embiid is the best center the NBA has seen this century.

When he’s on the court, other teams plan around it. When he’s unavailable, teams breathe a sigh of relief regardless of how potent his supporting cast may be.

Not to knock Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Jimmy Butler, J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, or any of the great players he’s shared the court with over his four-year tenure in the City of Brotherly Love, but Embiid has proven unequivocally that regardless of what team is placed around him, he can will that team to the playoffs.

Heck, Embiid’s 2019-20 performances become even more impressive when you consider the Sixers didn’t sign a backup point guard until four days into free agency and may very well have the fewest pure playmakers in the entire league.

If Embiid wanted to, he could easily average a 30-15 double-double a night as a James Harden-esque offensive engine, but after missing time during the 2019 postseason, he’s prioritized remaining healthy and managing his workload during the regular season over personal accolades to guarantee his freshness for the playoffs.

Had it not been for a fluke broken finger, Embiid would likely still be rolling along, putting up 23-12 as the Sixers’ defensive anchor, but hey, them’s quite literally the breaks.

Next. Tobias Harris has been great (almost) all season. dark

So no, the Philadelphia 76ers shouldn’t trade Joel Embiid to the LA Clippers for Mo Harkless, Montrezl Harrell, Landry Shamet, and a first-round pick. The Philadelphia 76ers wouldn’t even trade Joel Embiid for Kawhi Leonard when they had the chance. I mean, have you read his Player Tribune article? This man would run through a brick wall for this city, this team, his fans – at the very least we can respect him enough to keep his name out of the trade machine.