Ex-NBA Coach: Another Superstar Could Be Traded Before Lillard or Harden

The Miami Heat and the Portland Trail Blazers seem to be at a stalemate over a Damian Lillard trade. The Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers, similarly, seem stonewalled at working out a deal to get James Harden to LA. Neither the Heat, nor the Clippers, have the assets to get their respective deals done. 

But according to former NBA coach Sam Mitchell, he can see a scenario where another—even bigger—superstar is traded before either of those. 

On NBA Radio on Sirium XM Sunday morning, Mitchell insisted that reigning MVP Joel Embiid could go first:

Joel Embiid could get traded before Damian Lillard or James Harden gets traded. Because if Embiid comes out in the next month and says 'you know what, I've made up my mind, I want out and I want to go to the New York Knicks', the Knicks actually have the assets to do a deal!

Mitchell says, in regards to the Harden situation, it "doesn't look good in Philadelphia. And it doesn't look like it's going to get better anytime soon... (Sixers GM Daryl Morey) is the best at the long game. He will wait you out." If Harden holds out, leaving the Sixers shorthanded at the start of the season, or even worse, if he shows up at camp as a real disruptor like he did in Houston a few years back, destroying the team's chemistry, Mitchell could be on to something.

The Knicks certainly do have plenty of draft assets, plus good young talent like RJ Barrett, etc. 

Embiid recently raised some eyebrows on a podcast when he said he just wants to win a championship, whether in Philly, 'or anywhere else'.

Sixers Insider Keith Pompey seems to agree that Embiid to the Knicks could "absolutely" happen. 

"I think it's closer than what you think," Mitchell insisted.

Photo: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports