- Daryl Morey is set to join the Philadelphia 76ers are President of Basketball Operations
- The former Houston Rockets executive will work above Elton Brand as the Sixers look to overhaul their roster this offseason
- Will Morey make a big move? Could Embiid or Simmons get dealt?
It’s been all change off-court for the Philadelphia 76ers since they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Brett Brown has gone, several new names were hired for the front office and now Daryl Morey is set to join the organization, taking the role of President of Basketball Operations.
Elton Brand, the man at the wheel for the disastrous Al Horford and Tobias Harris deals, remains in his position, but there’s no question Morey will be calling the shots.
A top four contender at the start of last season, the Sixers were the most disappointing team in the NBA in 2019-20. Morey faces a massive challenge to make them serious challengers in 2021.
The latest NBA Championship odds are in the table below.
2021 NBA Championship Odds
|Los Angeles Lakers||+360|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+480|
|Golden State Warriors||+950|
Odds taken from FanDuel on October 28th
Unclogging the Offense
Morey will not tolerate the Sixers offense ranked 22nd in three-point attempts. Philly were an ugly offensive team to watch for much of last season, lacking ball handling and shooting. Morey is not as wedded to small-ball as it is sometimes made out, but there’s no doubt he will look to move on Al Horford and/or Tobias Harris.
Having seen shooters leave in recent years, Morey has work to do to build up that part of the roster. Embiid and Simmons need space to work, and shooters help create that space. Off-ball movement is key too, and that’s something they were short of after letting JJ Redick walk last offseason.
Buddy Hield will be mentioned, and he seems a good fit if the Kings are tempted by Horford. Chris Paul has been suggested as a target for the Sixers too. Morey was a big fan of Paul, but the feasibility of such a deal depends on where their relationship is after Paul’s rocky departure from the Rockets.
Renowned as a star chaser, could Morey swing a blockbuster trade with his former team?
The Harden Question
Upon leaving the Rockets, Morey wrote a long thank you letter to the organization and to James Harden.
The letter included the line ‘James Harden changed my life’. The rumors linking Harden to the Sixers will surge in the coming days. It won’t be the first time a trade concept of Harden for Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons has been suggested, but the arrival of Morey, who has a great relationship with Harden, will lead to yet more links between Philly and the former MVP.
The Rockets, who have made a habit of trading away draft picks, would want an enormous haul for Harden.
Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton would need to be included alongside Simmons or Embiid, as would future draft picks.
Houston doesn’t look ready to give up on the Harden and Russell Westbrook experiment. That doesn’t mean Morey won’t try to trade for the perennial MVP candidate, of course, but it seems a very long shot at this stage.
Changes Are Coming
The Sixers were always unlikely to start next season with their current roster. That has become even less likely with the arrival of Morey, who will have been brought in with the power to shake things up.
A deal involving Simmons or Embiid still seems improbable, and the Rockets may not entertain trade talks for Harden, but the rest of the roster could be looking very different by opening day (whenever that may be).
And now Sam Cassell is joining the Sixers as well.
Doc Rivers has put together a brilliant coaching staff, and Daryl Morey will be leading basketball operations.
The Sixers have made so many good hires. https://t.co/8k2XU9RqpB
— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) October 28, 2020
Expect to see Morey search for cheap shooters. Horford being flipped for shooting wings would be a dream scenario.
While Harden might be unattainable this offseason, and the fit with Simmons and Embiid remains challenging, Morey will find a way to improve this roster. He has worked wonders with the Rockets over the last few years, picking up productive players from nowhere. The Sixers need a bit of that magic.
If Morey can combine some bargain shooting with a big trade or two, the Sixers will be a legitimate threat. A small wager at +3200 is certainly tempting.