The best comparison for a potential Joel Embiid trade to the Rockets

Houston Rockets v Philadelphia 76ers
Houston Rockets v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

This offseason, the Houston Rockets have been mentioned as a team that could make a move for a disgruntled superstar. The Rockets registered some level of interest in New Orleans Pelicans star forward Zion Williamson. 

Reportedly. To no avail.

Then the Rockets had some level of interest in LA Clippers forward Paul George. 

Reportedly. To no avail.

The latest reports have the Rockets being mentioned as a team to watch if Philadelphia 76ers superstar and 2022-23 MVP Joel Embiid decides to request a trade, due in large part to his relationship with Rockets coach Ime Udoka, who was at Embiid's wedding and coached him in 2019-20. 

My first thoughts are simple: how do we know that these "reports" will be any different than the prior two regarding Williamson and George? It's all speculation, which I can appreciate. But we do have to acknowledge that.

Furthermore, why would Embiid, who recently expressed his desire to win a title to Maverick Carter, register interest in being traded to the Rockets - a team far removed from championship aspirations?

Granted, adding an MVP will always increase the chances of a team reaching the NBA Finals.

Which is where I think I'd like to rest for a bit.

Because alot of Rockets fans were stating that they'd be unwilling to part with rising star center Alperen Sengun to land Embiid.


The best comparison for a potential Joel Embiid trade to the Rockets

Look, regardless of where you stand on this front, it'd be hard to take you seriously if you don't think Embiid is better than Sengun right now. And for the foreseeable future.

And it's not any shade to Sengun to point that out. Hell, I'd be surprised if Sengun even thought otherwise. 

Adding an MVP-level talent like Embiid to play alongside Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks, to a lesser degree, makes a team an instant contender. 

Even in the crowded Western Conference. 

Irrespective of the perceived postseason choke jobs by Embiid. 

Remember, many of these same fans were clamoring for Embiid's teammate, James Harden, who is known for not showing up when the stakes are the highest, especially after his Rockets career.

The logic was that the Rockets shouldn't care about any of that, because they'd benefit from having a proven player of that magnitude being around the young core, as they aspire to ascend from doormats in the West to postseason contenders.

Why would acquiring Embiid be any different?

It would be like if this version of the Rockets had the opportunity to acquire Harden following the 2017-18 season, in which he led the league in scoring, won MVP, and had the postseason turnout that he had, in which many believe he didn't rise to the occasion, in theory.

On another team.

What would be your answer to that? Both those in favor and those against would have a compelling argument. There are fair arguments on both sides, so I won't decipher who's right and wrong.

But if your answer to that hypothetical is to go for it, you kind of have to keep the same energy for Embiid.

But ultimately I think the conversation is a waste of time, because I can't see Daryl Morey sending his best player to his former employer. And I don't know why Embiid would want to come to the Space City. 

Just something to think about, I guess.

Again, it's all speculation.