40% of ESPN voters think Joel Embiid is next star to request trade


About 40% of ESPN voters in the network’s 2023-24 NBA Summer Forecast panel think Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is the next superstar to request a trade during this offseason or next season.

The 7-footer leads the list after receiving 40% of the votes, followed by Zion Williamson (20%), Karl-Anthony Towns (12%), Trae Young (8%), Kyrie Irving (8%), Ja Morant (4%), Donovan Mitchell (4%), and Luka Doncic (4%).

Perhaps voters picked Embiid because fellow teammate James Harden requested a trade in June.

Last month, the NBA issued Harden a $100,000 fine “for public comments on August 14 and 17 indicating that he would not perform the services called for under his player contract unless traded to another team.”

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Philadelphia 76ers hold ninth-shortest odds to win next season’s championship in 2024. Check out which sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat.

During an Adidas event a few weeks ago in China, the 14-year veteran said, “[76ers president of basketball operations] Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.”

Harden then unfollowed Morey on X, formerly known as Twitter. In July, Harden also removed the 76ers from his X/Twitter biography. The 10-time All-Star requested a trade from the Sixers on June 29 after he exercised his $35.6 million player option for the 2023-24 season.

However, Embiid might not be that type of player. After all, he’s spent his entire seven-year career with the Sixers. The three-time All-Defensive member has yet to display any indications that he wants out. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is Harden’s fourth NBA team.

Approximately 40% of ESPN voters think Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is the next superstar to request a trade, followed by Zion Williamson (20%) and Karl-Anthony Towns (12%)

In May, Joel Embiid officially won the 2022-23 NBA MVP award. After consecutive years as runner-up, the six-time All-Star received 73 first-place votes, 25 second-place votes, two third-place votes, and 915 total points. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets finished second.

Jokic received 15 first-place votes, 52 second-place votes, 32 third-place votes, and 674 total points. Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo garnered 12 first-place votes, 23 second-place votes, 65 third-place votes, and 606 total points. Celtics wing Jayson Tatum placed fourth, receiving 89 of the 100 fourth-place votes.

Embiid joined Wilt Chamberlain (1966, 1967, 1968), Julius Erving (1981), Moses Malone (1983), and Allen Iverson (2001) as 76ers players to win the award. Also, he became the first Sixer to win the award since Iverson won it 22 years ago.

Furthermore, the two-time scoring champ became the first MVP to average 30 points and 10 rebounds per game on 50% shooting since Moses Malone in 1981-82. Embiid’s 33.1 points per game average was the highest for a center since Chamberlain’s 33.5 PPG average in 1965-66.

In addition to leading the league in points per game, Embiid also led in field goals (728) and 2-point field goals (662). The 76ers center finished second in three metrics — total points (2,183), player efficiency rating (31.4), and box plus/minus (9.2).

Will New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson request a trade before Embiid? It’s another possibility. Last July, the 6-foot-6 wing signed a five-year, $193 million contract worth up to $231 million.

Nevertheless, injuries have taken a toll on Williamson’s NBA career. Knee, foot, and hamstring injuries have limited him to 114 games in his first four seasons. He’s missed 194 regular-season games and all nine of New Orleans’ postseason contests.

It might be time for both sides to call it quits. The ESPN voters seem to think so. Ahead of Williamson’s rookie 2019-20 season, the Pelicans received 30 nationally televised games. Now, the Western Conference contender has only 12 nationally televised games for the 2023-24 season.

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