Joel Embiid has fired a warning shot towards the Sixers front office.
The 2023 NBA MVP has been with the Philadelphia 76ers since he was drafted third overall back in 2014, but after a recent interview with businessman and media personality Maverick Carter, the big man has let the world know that he may not be in Philly forever.
“I just want to win a championship,” Embiid said. “Whatever it takes. I don’t know where that’s gonna be, whether it’s in Philly or anywhere else, I just want to have a chance to accomplish that.
“I wanna see what it feels like to win that first one and then think about the next one. It’s not easy, but it takes more than one, two, three guys. You gotta have good people around you.”
While this certainly was far from a trade request, Embiid is making it very clear that he wants to compete for championships and if he cannot do it in the City of Brotherly Love, he will find another place where he can.
The center is coming off his best season of his career, averaging 33.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game en route to his first MVP award – one that had been a few seasons in the making.
Despite the great regular season, Embiid and the Sixers fell short in the postseason again, squandering a 3-2 lead against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Embiid’s co-star for the last season and a half, James Harden, had some major highs in that series but also had some precipitous lows as well.
Morey’s high asking price for Harden is because the team wants to bring back players that can help Embiid contend right away in a league that has seen five different NBA champions crowned in the last five seasons.
Harden’s future is very much up in the air: The guard is trying to push his way out of Philadelphia in a trade, while the team is trying convince him to stay.
The 76ers’ chances of being a short-term contender could ride on how the Harden situation unfolds — if they trade and what they would get back in return if they do.
Unless Embiid can get an improved supporting cast around him to battle the top dogs in the East, he may be the next superstar who asks out and can shift the balance of power in the NBA.