NBA Analyst Proposes Trade That Would Pair Zion Williamson And Joel Embiid In Philadelphia
The Philadelphia 76ers will surely gauge the open market after suffering an embarrassing second-round exit in the NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics. One trade idea now sees the 76ers trading for New Orleans Pelicans power forward Zion Williamson.
Williamson is a force to reckon with, as evidenced by his career-averages of 25.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game on 60.5% shooting from the field. However, seeing as the former No.1 overall pick has played just 114 games over the past season, the idea of him being traded from the Pelicans isn’t far-fetched.
ESPN’s Andre Snellings played with the idea of Williamson potentially playing with 76ers superstar Joel Embiid. In his proposed trade, the Pelicans would send Williamson, Larry Nance Jr, Garrett Temple and Trey Murphy III to the 76ers for James Harden, PJ Tucker, Mac McClung and two 2024 second-round picks.
Brandon Ingram is an All-Star, but the fit with Williamson isn’t ideal because both are combo forwards who like to operate with the ball in their hands. While Ingram would be the foundational young star of the Pels, he doesn’t have the usage requirements of Joel Embiid, which would open up additional scoring opportunities for Harden. And Tucker is a tough-minded, defensive veteran to fit into the Pelicans frontcourt rotation next to Jonas Valanciunas and Herbert Jones. That team would have both the firepower and the size to compete with any team in the West, including the Denver Nuggets.
There are questions about whether the 76ers should retain Harden or let him leave as a free agent (if he opts out), due in large part to questions about Harden’s fit on an offense in which he can’t be the main option. But the 76ers can ill afford to lose Harden without replacement, even though Tyrese Maxey has become a perimeter threat.
If the 76ers can pair Williamson with Embiid and a strong supporting cast featuring Maxey, Murphy, De’Anthony Melton and Tobias Harris, the 76ers would have the highest ceiling in the NBA.