Key Points: The Daryl Morey Press Conference
Daryl Morey sat down for a press conference with the Philadelphia media this morning, and it went exactly how you would expect it to go. In classic Daryl Morey fashion, he essentially ducked out of most of the prying questions, but there were still plenty of takeaways from this presser.
The Ben Simmons topic was brought up immediately, and Morey never fully committed to Simmons, but I found solace in his willingness to say how much he liked the core group that they have now. On multiple occasions, Morey addressed that they “didn’t have good enough players”, and that if there are opportunities that would increase their championship odds that he would have to do his best to take advantage of that opportunity. With a flood of aggressive questioning about the 24 year old All-Star, Morey casually pointed out that everybody has room to improve, and the team loves what Simmons brings to the table.
They have already begun having meetings with him about his role and improvement going forward. Morey and the Sixers are focusing on winning a championship, and to me, it seems like that focus is centered around improving alongside Simmons, rather than taking him out of the equation completely.
Before I get too ahead of myself, Morey does move in mysterious ways and it could all be a facade to help raise the value of Simmons, but with his commitment to Doc Rivers and the core of this team, it seems like we are finally getting our #RunItBack season that we have been calling for since 2018.
Overall, it seems likely that they are going into next season with the intent to build off of what they had this season, rather than making a drastic move this offseason barring a bonafide star becoming available at a stunningly cheap price. Morey basically shut down these types of questions, and closed out this statement by saying:
“… we have a lot to build on. We have an MVP candidate. We’ve got an All-Star. We’ve got a player that should be an All-Star”
“We’re committed to this group. This is a really good group that played at a very high level… I mean, really, 25 or 26 teams in this league would love to be in our position. We have a good foundation, we just have to do better”
DARYL MOREY ON TYRESE MAXEY
A much bigger part of this presser than expected was the extended talk about Tyrese Maxey, and the Sixers need for a ball handling guard. There were a variety of questions asked about the lack of perimeter creation on the Sixers roster, and Morey loudly entrusted the rookie, and credited his work ethic and gumption to his ability to prove himself so quickly on this team. There was a question asked in reference to the potential of adding a perimeter threat, and Morey confidently responded by saying:
“I’m challenging the notion that we don’t have (ball handlers who break down the defense). Maybe we, obviously, could do better… but we believe in a lot of the players we have and our young players that are pushing our veterans.”
Take that as you will, but this seems to solidify the idea of Maxey having a much bigger role in this rotation next season.
Often mentioned throughout the media availability was Morey’s concern over the lack of fouls called for bigs compared to perimeter players, and referenced how strictly perimeter players are officiated while bigs such as Joel are granted more contact by the defender without being rewarded. Morey also mentioned that there has been a lot of discussion amongst league executives about this exact issue and expects the league to address soon, even if not at the start of next season. Also, unsurprisingly, mentioned that Joel Embiid was the “heart and soul of this team” and was incredibly impressed with his ability to play through such a tough injury.
THERE’S A LOT TO IMPROVE
There wasn’t that much to bite into during this press conference, Morey refused to answer anything in concrete form, and even seemed fairly distraught over the Game 7 loss, but returned from each question with the idea that there is a championship team in the facility. Morey agreed that there is a lot to improve on in terms of roster construction, but was confident that he and the team will address what they lacked this season and improve going into the next.