Joel Embiid trade rumors: Knicks monitoring as reigning MVP drops hint of uncertain future

Joel Embiid Knicks rumors
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) smiles while walking down court with James Harden (1) during the second half of Game 5 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, in Boston.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Knicks have continuously been linked to Joel Embiid and his uncertain situation with the Philadelphia 76ers this summer. And now it finally looks like there could be something to all that trade speculation.

The 2023 NBA MVP could very well be the next superstar talent to request a trade to leave the Sixers — a team that is also dealing with a public trade request from star guard James Harden. That sentiment was strengthened over the weekend when speaking with Maverick Carter at the Uninterrupted Film Festival in New York.

“I just want to win a championship,” Embiid said. “I don’t know where that’s going to be. Whether it’s in Philly or somewhere else.”

It was Embiid’s first public admission of potentially not playing with the 76ers after developing into one of the most feared centers in the game over the last seven years in Philadelphia. The 29-year-old took home his first MVP last season, averaging 33.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. 

Joel Embiid Knicks rumors
Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid dunks against the Boston Celtics during the second half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal, Thursday, May 11, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

But the Sixers have continuously underachieved, having not made it past the second round of the playoffs despite winning 49 or more games in five of the last six seasons. 

A lot of his hypothetical trade request could derive from what the 76ers get back in a Harden deal. If it’s underwhelming and general manager Elton Brand doesn’t get the necessary help needed to surround Embiid to create an Eastern Conference contender, Embiid could want out.

So would begin a bidding process that should give the 76ers a war chest of a return. Embiid isn’t only one of the NBA’s very best, but he’s signed through the 2025-26 season with a $59 million player option for 2026-27. 

Multiple reports have tabbed the Knicks as a key team that would jump in on the Embiid sweepstakes. Not only would it provide New York with a legitimate center, but they would have to dismantle the roster to get him. 

RJ Barrett would be the centerpiece of a deal alongside the likes of Mitchell Robinson and Miles McBride to go with a litany of first-round picks just to pique the 76ers’ interest. 

For more on the Knicks and Joel Embiid, visit AMNY.com