Daryl Morey is the true savior of the 76ers
When it comes to the success and turnaround for an NBA franchise, I think it it always important to break it down into two parts. On one side, it comes down to the players on the court. The game is left all out on the hardwood, and from that perspective Joel Embiid is the savior of this franchise. On the other side, it comes down to the front office, and that makes the other savior of this Sixers organization Daryl Morey.
In my mind, I believe Daryl Morey has not only made a ton of smart and successful moves for the 76ers in his short time here, but also masterfully juggled one of the toughest off-seasons I’ve seen for a front office in recent memory. The Ben Simmons off-season saga was a roller coaster filled with a ton of turning points, outrageous rumors, and tension galore. There were multiple points for Morey to cave in and trade Simmons low to get the monkey off his back. Fans and critics were constantly breathing down his neck to end the standoff, but he did not waiver.
Now, we sit in a world where not only is Ben Simmons still apart of the team, but may even suit back up for the squad to help them win a championship. The entire off-season, Daryl Morey never budged from his stance on Simmons. It was always bring him an All-Star caliber player or Simmons isn’t being traded. When teams reacted with recency bias and tried to lowball him, Daryl Morey didn’t waiver. When Simmons tried to force his way out by missing training camp, Morey fined him and didn’t budge. No other President of Basketball Operations would’ve pulled this off, and I am confident the outcome will be lucrative for the 76ers in the end.
While his handling of the Simmons situation was great in my eyes, it doesn’t compare to the off-season acquisitions Daryl Morey has made and the impact they are already having on the team. First, I want to begin with my favorite player Morey has added, Seth Curry. For any 76ers fans that don’t remember since it was over a year ago, Daryl Morey successfully flipped Josh Richardson and a second-round pick for the then 30-year-old sharpshooter Seth Curry. While Curry was immediately a shooting upgrade, it is his development into a pure scorer with the 76ers that really sent it over the top.
Seth Curry had shown flashes of his multi-level scoring ability in his time with both the Blazers and the Mavericks, but never got the minutes and support to step into that role. Now with the 76ers, with some added confidence Seth Curry has taken serious steps in his offensive game that has won the Sixers games single-handedly. Curry has already recorded three 20+ point games this season, while shooting nearly 55-percent from three averaging at least 5 attempts per game from downtown. On top of that, Curry is shooting 60-percent from the field, attempting a career-high five shots a game from inside the arc. That has led to him averaging 16.5 points a game currently, all thanks to his new confidence and ability to hit shots from anywhere on the court.
Now, lets look at the acquisitions Daryl Morey has made this off-season. Andre Drummond has been great both backing up Joel Embiid and when he was asked to start last night in the win against the Blazers. To see my breakdown of just how important Drummond has been for the 76ers this season, check out my article here. The other amazing contributor Daryl Morey added this off-season was Georges Niang,
Last night, Georges Niang was asked to play an expanded role due to injuries and rest days to many starters. In that time, Niang played 31 minutes, scoring 21 points in the ten-point win against the Blazers. While his shooting splits dipped due to attempting many more shots in the expanded role, Niang’s ability to stretch the half-court offense and pass ability in the paint has been nothing short of masterful. On the season Niang is averaging 11 points a game and nearly 44-percent shooting from three in just under 20 minutes of play. Niang has been a target of both Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers since last season’s trade deadline, and his performance so far this season shows why.
While we’re at it, let’s help Morey out with a new nickname for the 76ers’ “opponent wrecking offense/defense dynamic duo.”
It isn’t hard to see the impact Daryl Morey has had on this team in his short time with the organization. From his handling of the Ben Simmons drama and the immediate impact of a majority of his acquisitions on the team, Daryl Morey has been the savior for the 76ers on the front office side. Who knows how different this team would look without him at the helm, and I guarantee none of us would be as happy as we are now without him.
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