Sixers center Joel Embiid admitted being disappointed in James Harden‘s trade request during an interview Sunday with Rachel Nichols of Showtime (Twitter link). Embiid also said he understands that it’s the “business” side of the league and expressed hope that Harden’s “mindset can be changed.”
It was Embiid’s first public comment on the situation since Harden expressed a desire to be traded after deciding to pick up his $35.6MM option for next season. The Clippers are reportedly his preferred destination, although there has been little indication of any progress in trade talks.
Embiid also said he and Harden will remain friends no matter what happens with the trade request, but he would like to have him stay in Philadelphia and see what they can accomplish under new head coach Nick Nurse.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The Sixers don’t have the assets for a Damian Lillard trade, even if president of basketball operations Daryl Morey decides to include Tyrese Maxey in his offer, argues David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Murphy points out that recent trades involving the NBA’s top stars have involved parcels of draft assets, which Morey doesn’t have available. The Sixers are limited to offering one future first-round pick, plus four pick swaps, which is unlikely to interest a team like the Trail Blazers, who will be hoping to build around young talent if they move Lillard.
- The decision to match Utah’s offer sheet for Paul Reed leaves the Sixers $6.6MM over the tax threshold with 13 players holding guaranteed contracts, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.
- The Celtics were among the teams that attended John Wall‘s private workout Sunday in Las Vegas, tweets Kelly Iko of The Athletic. However, Brian Robb of MassLive doesn’t see Wall as a good fit in light of the team’s recent moves. Boston signed free agent point guard Dalano Banton this summer and already has Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon and Payton Pritchard on the roster. The Celtics are already facing a significant tax bill, Robb adds, and any free agent addition would bring millions more in tax penalties. Iko identifies the Trail Blazers as another team that sent representatives to watch Wall.
- Knicks officials were at a private workout for free agents Alize Johnson and Ben McLemore, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Johnson played four games for the Spurs last season before being waived in December, while McLemore most recently played in China.