Joel Embiid awkwardly tweets: 'Miami needs another star'

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Joel Embiid shook up social media with an intriguing social media post regarding the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

Late in Miami's loss the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Embiid mused in a tweet that the Heat are in need of "another star."

Was Embiid pitching himself to be reunited with former Sixers teammate Jimmy Butler in South Beach?

Judging by the replies to the cryptic missive, many on Twitter seemed to think Embiid was suggesting as much.

But Embiid seemed to quash the speculation soon after, saying "Ok y'all are stupid lmao."

However, it wouldn't be the first time that the 28-year-old MVP runner-up and second-team All-NBA honoree has appeared to lament the end of his time with Butler.

Upon the Sixers' ouster from the playoffs at the hands of the Heat earlier this month, Embiid wondered "how we let him go," and said "I wish I could have gone to battle with him still."

Butler, 32, was acquired by the Sixers in 2019 in a midseason trade with the Timberwolves. He was later dealt to the Heat the following offseason as part of a four-team sign-and-trade.

Butler played just 55 games with Philly, a stint that was apparently all too brief for Embiid's liking.

Embiid has been one of the league's best players since then, but he appears to be growing frustrated with the teams built around him.

The acquisition of James Harden from the Nets in the blockbuster deal that sent Ben Simmons was supposed to have helped. While Harden was solid upon joining the Sixers, Embiid asserted that The Beard was no longer the player he was in his prime.

"I mean, I don't know, I think he's been -- obviously, I'm sure since we got him everybody expected the Houston James Harden, but that's not who he is anymore," Embiid said.

"He's more a playmaker. I thought, at times, he could have been -- as all of us -- could have been more aggressive."

Embiid's apparent wanderlust comes with the Sixers at something of a crossroads.

Team president Daryl Morey has already said head coach Doc Rivers will be back on the bench for the 2022-23 season, despite widespread speculation that he would be moving on after tussling with the media and fans during a disappointing stretch run.

Harden, meanwhile, has a hefty player option for next season before a potential date with free agency in the summer of 2023.

The Sixers might be hesitant to pony up for a rich extension for Harden after his decidedly mixed performance upon being acquired from the Nets.

Whether Embiid would fit in Miami, or whether the Heat would be willing to pay the steep price of acquiring him, are separate questions entirely -- not to mention that it seems unlikely the Sixers would trade him at all, let alone to a division rival.

The Heat already have an All-Star center in Bam Adebayo, though the three-time All-Defensive second-team honoree brings a decidedly different skill set to the table from the well-rounded Embiid, who is one of the best offensive centers in the game.

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