This all may seem a little confusing. That’s because it is. The 76ers already have a general manager, Elton Brand, so it seems redundant to hire a President of Basketball operations; who’s going to be the lead decision maker? Daryl Morey approaches the game analytically, while Brand is a former player. Brand is also still relatively new to the job having only been in his current seat since September of 2018. However, he is a remnant of the Jerry Colangelo years and has been in the front office for some time, but that doesn’t mean this can’t work. Brand has never shown to have an excessive ego and may very well be on board with this hire. The two of them could work collaboratively and fill in the gaps where the other falls short. Generating a system of checks and balances this could be the most dynamic front office in the NBA.
It’s also important to note that the Sixers also have a new coach, Doc Rivers. Rivers and Morey have a history together dating back to Boston. They know each other decently well and have shown they can work together. Rivers is not the coach that Brett Brown was. He will be an imposing force in the locker room starting day one. He has the ability to manage his guys and get them to buy in. Pairing his coaching style with Brand and Morey and this might just be the perfect triforce Philadelphia needs in order to really get somewhere in the playoffs.
Philly shoots nearly exactly 1/3 at the basket, 1/3 mid range, and 1/3 three pointers. This, obviously, will change. Morey builds teams based on offensive efficiency. He even went so far as to trade away all his bigs in Houston, reducing the offense purely to threes and shots at the basket. This may pose a problem for the roster as constructed. Joel Embiid posts up more than any player in the league and shoots perimeter jumpers with poor effectiveness. The other star on the team, Ben Simmons, rarely attempts mid-range shots, let alone three pointers. Combining those players with the Tobias Harris contract, which eats nearly a third of the salary cap, this team is in a bit of a bind. Daryl has his work cut out for him.
But Morey is creative. His historically swings big and tries things others won’t. He’s never afraid to make a deal and historically it’s paid off, even if it didn’t get him a championship. Expect to see some trades kick off right with free agency, especially because it’s not going to be a normal offseason. Morey will work his mathematical magic and try and get something that works on paper and on the court.
This hire might seem strange and out of place, but it’s the best move the Sixers could have made. It was either get drastic or suffer first and second round playoff exits for the next few years. This actually gives them a fighting chance at something more.
(Photo: AP/David J. Phillip)