Sixers, Joel Embiid want star to play entire career in Philadelphia; no plans for Knicks trade

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Apr 15, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton (33) during the third quarter of game one of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.
Apr 15, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton (33) during the third quarter of game one of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

SNY’s Ian Begley will be responding to and breaking down answers to Knicks questions from readers. Here’s the latest…

@johnnyboyy1322: Are the Knicks going to push for [Embiid]? And if not who could they look at to replace Obi’s minutes?

@knickzfeed: if a Joel Embiid trade were to happen, what do you hypothetically think a package could look like? (players & specific picks) what do you think the Knicks would prioritize to have left over to support the Brunson/Randle/Embiid core?

Thanks to you both for the questions, @Johhnyboyy1322 and @Knickzfeed. I know there has been plenty of speculation around Joel Embiid and the Knicks. Embiid probably fueled that speculation after telling Maverick Carter earlier this month that he wants to win an NBA title, “whether it’s in Philly or anywhere else.”

There is an organic connection between the Knicks and Embiid. New York team president Leon Rose was a top player agent at CAA before taking on his current role. Rose represented Embiid.

The Knicks could put together a strong trade package for Embiid – or any other star on the trade market. They can deal as many as eight first-round picks; the club also has several young players on deals that will look team friendly as the salary cap continues to rise.

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But before you get into what packages the Knicks can offer for Embiid or how he may fit with the Knicks, you have to answer this question: does Embiid want to be traded? And would the Sixers trade him?

The answer to both of those questions, at the moment, is a resounding no.

After the comments went viral, Embiid and Sixers team president Daryl Morey touched base. One theme of the conversation, per people familiar with the matter: Embiid wants to be in Philly and win in Philly. Both team and player envision Embiid on a Derek Jeter-type trajectory: remaining as the face of his franchise until he retires. (The longevity theme is something The Athletic’s Sam Amick touched on earlier this week.)

As you’d imagine, the Sixers have absolutely no plans to trade Embiid to the Knicks – or anywhere else, per people familiar with the matter.

So any hypothetical conversation about Embiid to the Knicks – or anywhere else – should be put on hold for the moment.

We’ll hit on a few other topics in another Mailbag later this week.

For now, let’s do a few quick hitters:

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@JahBuckz: Ian do you know if the Knicks truly want to bring in an impactful backup PF or are we running it back and also have the Knicks and Quick started extension talks at all and if so how serious have they been? Thanks my guy

I don’t know definitively if the Knicks want to bring in someone to back up Julius Randle. My best guess right now? They are more likely to start the season with their current rotation than they are to add an established backup forward.

The Knicks created a void at that spot when they traded Obi Toppin to Indiana for two future second-rounders. So it’s logical to wonder if they will add a backup power forward in free agency. But if they added another player, it would extend the rotation to 10 players. Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks had a lot of success last season when they cut the rotation to nine players. Based on that, I assume the Knicks are comfortable with the rotation as is. RJ Barrett and Josh Hart can both spend time as a backup power forward. Those lineups would be undersized, of course. Maybe Thibodeau goes to Jericho Sims against bigger lineups. When Mitchell Robinson was out last season, Thibodeau liked what he saw from lineups featuring Isaiah Hartenstein and Sims.

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That’s why I think New York is more likely to stick with its current rotation players. Maybe my read is off here and the Knicks sign someone to backup Randle. We’ll find out more between now and training camp.

On Quickley, I’d assume extension talks will get serious as we get closer to the October deadline for rookie extensions. That’s generally how the process goes for most players eligible for rookie extensions.

@The__Cooler The Brooklyn Nets have a ton of wings, and the Knicks have a ton of PGs. Would a Rokas Jokubaitis trade for Nets 2nd round pick Jalen Wilson make sense for both teams?

Thanks for the question, Cooler. I don’t think Brooklyn would want to do this after Jalen Wilson’s performance in Summer League. Maybe I’m wrong about that. But I’d assume the Nets want to give Wilson time in their system and time to develop instead of moving him. Jokubaitis is young and talented, so I could see the Nets – and other teams – having an interest in him. But I don’t think Brooklyn would look to include Wilson in a deal for him.

@The__Cooler: 1. Why won’t the Knicks hold a press conference for Donte DiVincenzo? 2. When will the Knicks introduce Gersson Rosas as their GM? 3. Knicks don’t seem to have any room for Rokas Jokubaitis. Why not trade him for a 3 and D wing over 6’7? 4. Is Kelly Oubre a wing option?

1. I’m not sure. 2. I’m not sure. 3. Could they get an impactful 3&D guy for Jokubaitis? 4. I haven’t heard anything concrete on Oubre and New York.

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