Reports surfaced yesterday that Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid would be missing time indefinitely after needing surgery on his left meniscus. Embiid has been running the NBA in scoring this season, leading the league with 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game in a regular season that was rounding out into another MVP campaign. Embiid has had another historic season, on pace to join legendary Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to average 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in a season until Jonathan Kuminga fell on the reigning MVP’s knee. This is a terrible time for the Sixers to lose their cornerstone piece as they have struggled to win without Embiid on the floor, going 4-10.
Joel Embiid is averaging 35.3 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 5.7 APG this season 😳 pic.twitter.com/y6sVP8fH7G— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 5, 2024
The Sixers are still waiting to establish a timeline for the return of the 7-time All-Star and Brian Windhorst broke down the gravity surrounding his return and what it could look like for the rest of the league going forward, especially since the trade deadline is February 8th at 3 PM ET. After the NBA has cracked down on healthy players resting, Embiid will now be ineligible for the MVP award after suffering this left knee injury that was ultimately unavoidable in the moment. Basketball is a contact sport and Kuminga was obviously not trying to injure the now former MVP frontrunner and it is unfortunate that Embiid will be penalized by a rule from an injury that was not his fault. Embiid has been known to be a Band-Aid in the league, only playing 66 or more games twice in his eight year career. I will be curious to see what the 76ers do with their recent adversity as the club sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings at 30-19. According to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, anything is possible in terms of Embiid being able to return this season and the Sixers and the rest of the league should hopefully have an answer in the next coming days. The prognosis on Embiid’s left knee could determine if the 76ers will have an extended playoff run this season, as I would be shocked to see them fall out of playoff contention even if they shut down Embiid for the rest of the season. Philadelphia will be holding their breath as they wait for what will hopefully be good news and a speedy recovery for the best player that city has had on a basketball court since Allen Iverson.
"How Embiid comes out of this surgery, and the prognosis ahead of that trade deadline, is one of the most important things that's going to happen in the league this week".— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 5, 2024
—@WindhorstESPN on how Joel Embiid's injury impacts the trade deadline. pic.twitter.com/hFpjZig2Qb