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Joel Embiid Says Some 76ers Fans Want Him Traded: 'I Do Believe That'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2022

HOUSTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 05: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Houston Rockets during the first half at Toyota Center on December 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
 (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Despite his dominance in recent seasons, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid feels that some Sixers fans would like for him to be traded.

When speaking to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, Embiid said: "I don't know. Sixers fans, they want to trade me."

When asked if he truly believes that to be the case, Embiid responded: "I do believe that. They want to trade me."

Embiid would yield quite a trade package, as he is averaging a career-high 33.3 points per game, is trending toward his sixth consecutive All-Star selection and is in the mix to win his first NBA MVP award.

Since missing the first two seasons of his NBA career because of injury, Embiid has been a force and arguably the best all-around big man in the league.

He reached new heights last season when he won his first scoring title by averaging 30.6 points per game to go along with 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.4 three-pointers made and 1.1 steals. By virtue of those numbers, Embiid finished second to Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić in the NBA MVP voting.

While the Sixers have been unable to get past the second round of the playoffs during Embiid's tenure, expectations were sky-high entering the 2022-23 season because of the re-signing of James Harden, the progression of Tyrese Maxey and the acquisition of supporting cast members such as De'Anthony Melton, Danuel House Jr., Montrezl Harrell and P.J. Tucker.

Despite that, the 76ers are off to an uneven 15-12 start, although that is still good for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Embiid has undoubtedly been the driving force behind any success the Sixers have had this season thanks to his averages of 33.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.6 blocks, 1.1 three-pointers made and 1.1 steals per game.

While Philadelphia sports fans are notorious for being tough on their teams and players at times, Fischer assured Embiid that no logical Sixers fans truly want him to be traded.

Fischer suggested it is more likely that fans would like to see other moves made, including the potential firing of head coach Doc Rivers, who has received the brunt of the criticism for the team's shortcomings in recent years.

Ultimately, Embiid noted that he is "grateful" to be a franchise player in Philadelphia even though it isn't necessarily the easiest position to be in.

Players like Harden, Maxey and Tobias Harris are going to play big roles if the Sixers go on a deep playoff run and potentially even contend for a championship this season, but there is little doubt that Embiid will be the biggest factor in whatever they achieve.