Miami Heat Rumors: Facilitating hypothetical 3 team trade for Joel Embiid

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat laughs with Joel Embiid (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat laughs with Joel Embiid (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Miami Heat
Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts in front of Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Trade

We had a fancy graphic set up, but our imagination overloaded the shortcode’s motherboard, not allowing all of the moving parts to display. In any event and like the actual trade we concocted, we got creative. Here are the details of the deal.

The Miami Heat Receive: Joel Embiid and Mike Scott from the Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Tyler Herro, Meyers Leonard, and Kelly Olynyk from the Miami Heat & Lauri Markkanen from the Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls Receive: Kendrick Nunn from the Miami Heat, Zhaire Smith from the Philadelphia 76ers, & two 2020 Second Round Picks (NYK & LAL)

The Aftermath

As mentioned above, the Philadelphia 76ers are forced to deal Embiid with the aforementioned parameters. The team already has expensive contracts on the books like Tobias Harris ($33.5 million), Al Horford ($27.5 million), and Ben Simmons’ max extension worth $29.3 million set to kick in this summer.

With $109.4 million against their cap already without the players they’re sending out in this deal, the Sixers need to find a way to shed a bit of salary while compensating Chicago. Everyone knows Matisse Thybulle is untouchable, so between the other youngsters on the team, it was Zhaire Smith chosen to go. Smith would go along with two 2020 second-round picks via New York and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 76ers’ starting lineup would look like: Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Lauri Markkanen, and Al Horford. Tyler Herro would fill the sixth man role, while Thybulle and Meyers Leonard could give the defensive punch the team needs with its starters off the floor. This team construction would open the driving lanes for Simmons while providing the shooting from everyone else that the team so desperately needs.

I calculated this trade with the assumption that Glenn Robinson III and Furkan Korkmaz would be brought back. The Sixers would also have Kelly Olynyk’s $12.2 million expiring contract that could be used in a future trade to fill out the roster. However, if they were to do this, it would be a tight move for Philadelphia.

They’d have to get Meyers Leonard to agree to a sign and trade worth about $30 million. For the Sixers to remain below the hard cap, Leonard’s contract would need to be spread out just right.

I propose $11 million in year one (a slight pay cut), $15.5 million in years two and three with a player option in year three to make up for the fact that he agreed to the sign and trade as well as the initial haircut in salary from the last year of his current deal to the proposed salary in the first year of his new contract. A little confusing, but run through that again slowly if it lost you, while there will be more on why he’s worth that much in the first place later.

If the projections are correct, Ben Simmons’ salary would be shaved by $1.5 million since his contract was written when it was believed the salary cap for the 2020-21 season would be higher. This would leave a roughly $3.5 million cushion before approaching the hard cap, a situation the  Miami Heat knows a thing or two about.