76ers Nearly Traded For This Center Amid Joel Embiid’s Injury

Andre Drummond, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, NBA trade rumors
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

During the first three months of this NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers were looking like potential championship contenders, and Joel Embiid was putting together another MVP-caliber campaign.

But over the last few weeks, Embiid has been out with a meniscus injury, and without him, the 76ers have struggled. They have lost nine of their last 12 games, and as a result, they have fallen to fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Prior to the trade deadline, they had the opportunity to acquire Andre Drummond, who could’ve helped keep them afloat while Embiid recovers. In fact, they thought a deal to acquire him from the Chicago Bulls was all but done.

“The 76ers believed they had a trade done to acquire Bulls center Andre Drummond before Chicago pulled out of talks hours before the deadline, league sources told HoopsHype,” wrote Michael Scotto. “The Bulls wanted three second-round picks for Drummond, league sources said. For context, the Nets acquired three second-round picks in the three-team Royce O’Neale trade.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Andre Drummond, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Drummond played 49 games for the Sixers two seasons ago, and this season, he’s averaging 8.6 rebounds and 8.1 points in 16.7 minutes a game. While he isn’t a scoring threat, he at least could’ve given Philly more possessions by hitting the boards, especially the offensive boards.

The team is still hopeful Embiid will return at some point this season after undergoing surgery on his injured knee. He’s putting up 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.8 blocked shots per game so far this season, but he has now missed too many games to be eligible for any individual awards.

The Cameroon native won last season’s MVP award and led the league in scoring in the last two campaigns. Needless to say, if the Sixers are to have any shot at challenging the Boston Celtics for Eastern Conference supremacy, they must have a healthy Embiid by the end of the regular season.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Andre Drummond, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

They haven’t reached the Eastern Conference Finals or the NBA Finals since 2001, and they haven’t won the world championship since 1983. The emergence of guard Tyrese Maxey as a star and the acquisition of sharpshooter Buddy Hield simply won’t be enough to break those droughts without Embiid’s massive presence and skills.

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