By Tom Brennan
Ever since Daryl Morey was hired as Sixers president on November 2, the conventional wisdom has been that he would dump either Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons to trade for one of his former faves, perhaps James Harden of the Rockets.
But according to Mark Stein of the New York Times, Morey is hoping his presence–along with Doc Rivers’–can unlock the Simmons-Embiid duo:
“The early signals emanating from Philadelphia suggest that Daryl Morey, the 76ers’ new president of basketball operations, wants to give Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons every last chance to click before trading …
… changes. As wary as the Rockets must be about doing a deal of that magnitude with Morey, we’ve seen that front offices that know each other well often find it easier to collaborate on the biggest of trades.”
The Sixers haven’t gotten past the second round of the playoffs with Simmons and Embiid leading the way. If the team once again falters during the 2020-21 season, Morey could split Simmons and Embiid up.
Philadelphia got swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, mostly because Simmons didn’t play due to a knee injury that required surgery. Brett Brown was fired as head coach after the playoffs ended and Sixers general manager Elton Brand quickly hired Rivers after the Chicago native and the Los Angeles Clippers parted ways.
Sixers fans are anxious to see what Morey is going to do from the front office since he’s one of the most aggressive basketball execs in NBA history.