Reiter’s Block: With James Harden’s exit already lingering, Joel Embiid adds fuel to the 76ers’ win-now fire

As force-your-way-out sagas go, this has been — and continues to be — the summer time of Damain Lillard and James Harden. Extra on that in a second.

But when we glance forward, 2024 may develop into the summer time Joel Embiid appears for a brand new house. Or so the discuss has gone.

Embiid himself gave voice to what many had been gossiping about when, whereas talking to Maverick Carter over the weekend, he raised a number of eyebrows, together with fairly a couple of extra in Philadelphia.

“I simply need to win a championship — no matter it takes,” Embiid informed Carter on the Uninterrupted Sports activities Movie Competition. “I do not know the place that is gonna be, whether or not it is in Philly or anyplace else.”

Whether or not it is in Philly or anyplace else.

His whole remark is longer, however the gist and Embiid’s message are clear: Construct a winner, or else.

His not-so-subtle thought additionally displays a deeper fear inside the Sixers group. They know profitable, in an actual approach that interprets to a very-deep postseason run, should occur quickly. That makes getting the fitting return for Harden crucial.

The Sixers will fortunately transfer the MVP of the 2017-18 marketing campaign for the fitting value. However what that value ought to equal stays elusive. Philly thinks that is a star-level participant to pair with Embiid, or sufficient priceless belongings they’ll flip for a similar.

However till a purchaser steps up, or the worth goes down, every day brings nearer the prospect of a really sad Harden displaying up in September to a workforce underneath the crushing must win now. And one which he doesn’t need to play for.

So the strain’s on in Philly, Harden’s eventual transfer is ready for a purchaser to supply a excessive sufficient value, and a way of fear and worry has been constructing. Fairly the timing for Philly’s reigning MVP to say what he did.

“The timing is intentional,” one league supply mentioned. “Embiid completely would not do something accidentally. He is aware of precisely what he is doing. And he enjoys it.”

Nobody believes Embiid goes anyplace this upcoming season. However 2024? Like with Lillard and Bradley Bealgenerally there are many false alarms earlier than issues get all-too actual.

Odds of Embiid Specific and Harden Freeway

Talking of Embiid and Harden, listed below are the most recent odds on the place the 2 will find yourself in the event that they do in truth finally go away the Sixers.


New York Knicks: +200

Brooklyn Nets: +250

Dallas Mavericks: +350

New Orleans Pelicans: +450

Miami Heat: +550

Los Angeles Lakers: +650

Utah Jazz: +850

Oklahoma City Thunder: +1000


Los Angeles Clippers: -150

New York Knicks: +400

Miami Warmth: +600

Atlanta Hawks: +700

Chicago Bulls:  +800

Dallas Mavericks: +1000

Houston Rockets: +1000

New Orleans Pelicans: +1000

Memphis Grizzlies: +1200

Toronto Raptors: +1200

san antonio spurs: +1400

Boston Celtics: +1800

Los Angeles Lakers: +2500

Phoenix Suns: +2500

In-Season Match curiosity

The NBA’s In-Season Match formally introduced at Summer time League might need been met with a combined, lukewarm response by followers unsure what to anticipate. However loads of folks across the league consider it is an enormous first step to make the season extra attention-grabbing.

For years, the league workplace was quietly revved as much as flip Adam Silver’s brainchild into actuality: An in-season match that tweaks European soccer’s variety-of-competitions for an American viewers.

A number of NBA GMs informed CBS Sports activities they consider having a number of issues to win in a single season can solely assist the game — and that they will take the match critically.

A Lillard deal may take longer

Lillard, in fact, stays a Path Blazer, a minimum of technically talking. Portland couldn’t be extra enthusiastic about Scoot Henderson. And several other NBA teams stay barely — very barely — hopefully Dame will shift gears and be open to a commerce someplace aside from Miami.

A number of font-office sources who’ve talked to Trail Blazers basic supervisor Joe Cronin consider he is severe about getting the most effective deal doable.

All of which implies the Lillard saga may go on for a really very long time.

“May very well be some time,” one front-office government mentioned. “You by no means know, however it’s most likely going to take longer than the Harden commerce.”

Will 2023 mimic 1994?

Nobody is writing off Brandon Miller after an at-times bumpy Summer time League.

Not within the league, not right here at CBS Sports activities, and positively not inside a Charlotte Hornets group that took him No. 2 total over Henderson, who went to No. 3 to Portland.

However — huge however right here — you will discover loads of expertise evaluators on the market who’re skeptical. Many will level out that the majority gamers do not dwell as much as expectations.

That is significantly true of men drafted within the prime three. It’s a must to go all the best way again to 1994 — 1994! — to search out the primary three picks within the NBA draft who all excelled within the NBA:

  1. Glenn Robinson
  2. Jason Kidd
  3. Grant Hill

In speaking in regards to the chance that a minimum of considered one of this yr’s prime three picks (Victor WembanyamaMiller and Henderson) will develop into a nasty decide, one NBA scout identified the curse of the No. 2 total decide.

“Have a look at it,” he informed CBS Sports activities. “No. 2 is terrible.”

Certainly it was, traditionally talking. Particularly when contrasted with, in every of those instances, the subsequent decide within the draft at No. 3.

James Wiseman (over LaMelo Ball). Marvin Bagley III (over Luka Doncic). Jabari Parker (over Embiid). Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (over Bradley Beal). Hasheem Thabeet (over James Harden). Darko Milicic (over Carmelo Anthony). And so forth.

However simply as Summer time League struggles do not all the time inform the story of what is to return, the previous will not be all the time prelude.

So we’ll shut hoping Wemby, Miller and Scoot defy the chances and kind the primary High 3 triumvirate in almost 30 years to ship on expectations.


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Printed : 2023-07-18 14:13:48

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