Joel Embiid has left the bubble. Embiid is home watching the rest of the NBA playoffs like the rest of us following the Philadelphia 76ers sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics. During the Miami Heat's game 1 upset of the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, Embiid got on Twitter for the first time in two weeks. The first tweet was vague. The second was praise of former Sixers' teammate Jimmy Butler.
IF.... the Sixers had been able to keep Butler, maybe Embiid would still be in the bubble right now. Instead, Butler went to Miami. In February, Butler seemed to invite Embiid to join him via an Instagram comment. In October, Embiid called Butler his "brother forever" and said he wished he was still in Philly.
It doesn't take a hot take scientist to figure that Embiid, fresh off a first round sweep, watched Butler drop 40 in a second round playoff game against the team with the best record in the NBA, and again thought, why didn't we keep him!?
Just another layer of drama for the Sixers as they decide how they move forward with their current roster. Embiid is under contract for three more seasons, so somebody better make this up to him. As for his fit in Miami, the Heat currently have 23 year old All-Star center Bam Adebayo. who is three years younger and has already played in more games than Embiid. Adebayo is under Miami control for two more seasons and then he's just a restricted free agent.
So Embiid's best chance of getting back together with Butler is if Jimmy Buckets wears out his welcome in Miami like he has everywhere else. I know everything is going really well for Butler right now, but it's only a matter of time. If only there was a team with a bunch of assets looking for two high-paid superstars who love social media.