The Philadelphia 76ers are in "advanced talks on a deal to hire Daryl Morey to oversee the franchise's basketball operations," first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Athletic's Shams Charania reports Morey will sign a five-year deal with Philadelphia as soon as this weekend.
Morey is the architect of some of the best teams in franchise history, especially since the Rockets' back-to-back NBA championships in the mid-90s.
Under Morey, the Rockets appeared in the Western Conference twice, losing to the Goldens State Warriors both times. The Rockets at least appeared in the semifinal round in six of Morey's seasons as GM.
Morey is somewhat responsible for the whole "Process"—at least to some degree—as Sam Hinkie, the architect of it all, worked under Morey in the Houston Rockets' front office from 2005 to 2012 before joining the 76ers.
Uncertainty has surrounded Morey's job security since he tweeted support for freedom in Hong Kong, leading to China suspending sponsorships with the NBA.
The move cost the league an estimated $400 million in revenue, and specifically cost Fertitta millions of dollars in sponsorship money.
It was also reported in September that the Sixers could be eyeing Mike D'Antoni as their coach, with hopes of luring James Harden to Philadelphia. Of course, the Sixers hired Doc Rivers to be their new head coach, but you can't help but think maybe Morey helps bring Harden to the Sixers.
While Elton Brand remains the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, the organization—if the report comes to fruition—will now have two experienced and successful basketball voices to help make personnel decisions in Rivers and Morey.
Under Brand, the Sixers traded ascending, productive, and affordable players in Robert Covington and Dario Saric for Jimmy Butler early in 2018 to chase that elusive championship ring. They also traded for Tobias Harris, sending, most notably, sharp shooter Landry Shamet and draft picks to the Clippers.
However, this past summer, the Sixers did not re-sign Butler, eventually sending him to Miami in return for 26-year-old guard Josh Richardson. Harris, in contrast, did receive that 5 year, $180 million near max contract. By not retaining Butler and JJ Redick, the Sixers used their remaining money to sign 34-year-old former Celtics big man Al Horford to a four-year, $109 million contract.
The Harris and Horford contracts will likely hinder the Sixers for years to come. Harris, however, is just 28 and has consistently averaged around 20 points per game over his last three seasons and is a solid third-best player to go along with Simmons and Embiid, despite his gaudy contract.
Horford, at age 34 coupled with his awkward fit alongside Embiid, is a situation that looks bleak. The Sixers could look to trade Horford this offseason, but after a dreadful 2019-20 season Philly would almost need to beg another team to take that bloated contract -- and by beg I mean, include some other attractive assets, something the Sixers are extremely thin of.
The good news for Sixers fans, or the optimistic outlook at least, is despite a very frustrating and injury/pandemic-riddled 2019-20 campaign, Embiid and Simmons have played in just two postseasons together. They are still only 26 and 24 years old, respectively, and they're both -- along with Harris -- under contract with the Sixers through the 2022-23 season, when Embiid is set to become a free-agent.
Plus, a front-office headed by Morey is plenty enough to get excited about.