DEAL AGREED: Celtics Blockbuster Offer for Philadelphia top star agreed ahead of Rivals

The 76ers are predicted to be a disaster this season, which might lead to Joel Embiid seeking a trade.

The issue between James Harden and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey eclipsed any optimism from the team, and it’s unclear whether Harden will play in the season opening against the Bucks on Thursday. The 34-year-old has been away from the team for the majority of the offseason as the season begins on Tuesday.

If Embiid demanded a trade, an arms race would ensue, especially in the Eastern Conference after Milwaukee and the Boston Celtics made bold moves. Another Eastern Conference team could make a move to resurrect it.

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“The New York Knicks are willing to offer a package that includes three key players, with Julius Randle, R.J. Barrett, Evan Fournier, and Mitchell Robinson all available in exchange for Joel Embiid,” according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “A trio from that group would be paired with two or three first-round picks.”

It’s hardly an appealing package for last season’s MVP, but if Harden gets his request and is traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia may be forced to make a trade for the most draft picks and have new head coach Nick Nurse work things out with a shaky squad.

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The Celtics would benefit from Philadelphia blowing things up because it would eliminate one postseason contender. And even if the Knicks did sign Embiid, it would be insufficient to compete with Boston or Milwaukee.

Boston may also benefit from less focus on itself, with the New York media obsessed on Embiid.

To be clear, Embiid expressed his loyalty to Philadelphia during the Harden saga, but things in the NBA may change at any time. And teams like the New York Knicks are poised to seize the opportunity.

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