3 Trades the 76ers Must Pursue if Joel Embiid Misses Significant Time

With Joel Embiid suffering a significant knee injury this week, the Sixers might have to acquire additional center depth ahead of the trade deadline.
Jan 2, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond (3) passes
Jan 2, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond (3) passes / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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With only seven days to go until the NBA trade deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers might have to address the center position due to the latest injury to reigning MVP Joel Embiid

The Sixers announced on Thursday that Embiid suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee after exiting Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the all-star center will be out through the weekend while a treatment plan is finalized.

If you are a Sixers fan, this is not ideal news, as it seemed like the team had the right pieces around Embiid to make it past the second round of the playoffs. 

The betting markets don't love the outlook for Philly either, and the Sixers are now 17-to-1 to win the NBA Championship.

With Embiid’s season potentially in jeopardy, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey must canvass the league and see if any viable big men could give the team a lift for the second-half stretch.

As of right now, the team is rolling with Paul Reed and Mo Bamba at the center spot, which will not get it done if Embiid doesn’t return until closer to the NBA playoffs. Below, we’ll discuss a few trades that the Sixers need to pursue ahead of the trade deadline that will give them some depth in the middle.

1. Andre Drummond

It wasn’t expected that the Sixers were going to make a splash at the trade deadline as they likely want to keep cap flexibility heading into the offseason. 

However, adding Drummond to this roster would give them a rebounding presence that they don’t have with the Reed and Bamba duo. The former Sixers big man is averaging 7.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this season with the Bulls.

The 30-year-old Drummond is only making $3.36 million this season and is set to become a free agent at the end of the year. The Bulls aren’t making a serious playoff push this season despite being in ninth place in the East (23-26).

Drummond is reportedly receiving trade interest from several teams, so it would be imperative on Chicago’s part to try and move the veteran center before the deadline. It’s tough seeing the Bulls getting a first-round pick back for Drummond, so maybe the Sixers could send them K.J. Martin and Mo Bamba.

Financially, the trade works, and Chicago would be getting a young wing in Martin, who has shown flashes this season of what he can do on both ends when called upon.