Kyle Neubeck: Joel Embiid on the back and forth with Ph…

More on Joel Embiid Trade?

There is no consensus, but league execs think that if the Sixers do explore a trade, Embiid is more likely to be moved -- health being the determining factor in building around Simmons. One exec added that a big trade featuring Simmons or Embiid might be the only way to reshape the team.
Sources I have spoken to around the league painted this picture (and Windhorst mentions it): It’s too hard to get two elite players, trading one (and certainly not getting full value back) is the absolute last resort. The more likely pattern is Brett Brown gets fired after the season and another coach is brought in. However, if in a year or two that coach cannot get Embiid and Simmons to blend at a championship level, then the Sixers will start to explore trades. (Both players are under contract for three seasons after this one, there is no pressure to trade or lose them on the Sixers.)
After Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid posted a photo on Instagram captioned with the classic Batman line, "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain," Tuesday night — amid rumblings of discord in the team's ranks — the Heat star saw an opportunity. "I know a place where villains are welcome," Butler commented, along with a "shrug" emoji, seemingly a reference to the Heat. To which Embiid replied "Damn right my brother."
The Philadelphia 76ers are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference as they have been one of the NBA's more disappointing teams with questions continue to surround the viability of Brett Brown as head coach and whether Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can fit alongside each other.
"I've got lead executives talking to me as we go through this, hours and hours and hours that I spend on the phone in and around the deadline, even after the deadline," said Brian Windhorst on his podcast. "Some of the worst for me is the three days of debriefing calls that these guys... I'm very appreciative, I mean I do it. I was on the phone until almost midnight Pacific time after the deadline talking to people.
"But anyways, one of the conversations people are starting to have in the league is 'will they move Embiid? What's the price? Where would he go?' I'm not going to get into that, but my point is people are talking about that. I don't think they would do that without making an adjustment to the head coach. It's such a radical thing, but the fact that we're in mid-February and the people who work in the league, who have to prepare in advance, are mulling over Joel Embiid potentially coming to market, whether that's true or not... I mean, Josh Harris can come on this podcast and deny it if he wants, but the fact people are talking about it, is not good. It's a symptom of where they are."
Philadelphia's potential package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and the Heat's unprotected 2021 pick didn't move the needle. It's unclear if the Spurs had interest in Markelle Fultz; the two sides never discussed him seriously, and the Sixers would not have parted with him, sources say. The Spurs made it clear any deal with Philly would require Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid (likely Simmons), and the Sixers weren't going anywhere near that, league sources say.
There’s a solid chance that the Sixers will trade Noel or/and center Jahlil Okafor this season. But if he stays, Sixers coach Brett Brown says Noel will be an asset for the team that also features center Joel Embiid.
The Philadelphia 76ers have a logjam at the big positions in Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel. "There's no question you can look at our roster and say we have some unbalance," said Bryan Colangelo. "We're top heavy. We have some good talent there."
According to Bryan Colangelo, they are still working on trying to determine how to resolve the Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor front court situation. “We’re still working on that every day. We’re not going to make a bad deal so we’re going to do everything we can to make the right choice if we decide to ultimately move one,” Colangelo said about his big men. “We’ll try to make the right deal for the organization.”
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Lakers legend Pau Gasol, Marc’s older brother, recently sat down with Spanish newspaper Marca as he discussed the future of his sibling. Pau’s response was cryptic, but it is clear that he is hoping that Marc returns to Spain: “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides,” Pau said (h/t Sam Yip of Fan Nation). “I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.”
“I’ve been on him about things I need from him,” Billups said. “I said, ‘Nurk, I know you are going to be a free agent, and I understand you have to have a great year. You need me for you to have a great year, and I need you for us to have a good year. We need each other, right?’ “I’m going to give him every opportunity to have a great year. Because if he has a great year, that means we are a pretty damn good team. Because he is a good player. But that means he has to be focused and be in shape. Because you are only going to play as many minutes as you are physically able. If you are out there tired, uh-uh, come on, gotta get you out. There are good players behind you.”
It is unclear exactly what Nurkic and his role will look like under Billups, but to hear Nurkic talk, Billups has given him a vision of being more involved on both ends. Billups has been careful not to publicly define roles, but in general, he has preached that the offense will include more ball movement. “I just want to feel wanted, and I think I just need more support, and what I mean by that is different playing style, more inside-out game, more chance,” Nurkic said. “More chance to be successful and the position where they put you in. It’s all about the coach and where they put you, and I think Chauncey has figured out that certain people are going to have one to three points less, but the team is going to be way more successful with ball movement and playing together and be more fun. Even at the defensive end.”