The Philadelphia 76ers have made the hiring of former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey to be their team president official, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Morey reportedly signed a five-year contract with Philadelphia and will be announced during a press conference Monday afternoon, per Charania.
Sixers general manager Elton Brand also received a multiyear extension to be retained in his current role, per Charania, although the length of the deal is unknown. Brand had been seeking a contract extension since he met with Sixers brass in September, as his current contract that he signed three years ago was set to expire after the 2020-21 season.
Morey spent the last 13 years in Houston and parted ways with the franchise two weeks ago. The Sixers expected to compete for a championship last season but lost in a first-round sweep against the Boston Celtics, prompting the organization to fire coach Brett Brown and replace him with former Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
With a new team president and head coach, in addition to the retention of Brand, the trio of Rivers, Morey and Brand will have a monumental task ahead of them: turning an expensive but not particularly cohesive team into a title contender. More specifically, the Sixers will have to figure out if Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can carry this team to a championship, or at least to the NBA Finals, as there have been questions regarding the duo’s chemistry on the floor. Philly also will need to address the serious depth issues that plagued it throughout the season, especially when it comes to shooters.
However, if the Sixers, want to become serious title contenders next season, the easiest path is through trades trades to unload some of their pricier contracts in hopes of getting several pieces in return. They have over 82 percent of their cap tied up in Simmons, Embiid, Tobias Harris and Al Horford. Among that group, Horford has come up frequently in trade suggestions as the veteran center underwhelmed in his first season with Philadelphia. But the remaining three years and $81 million left on his deal will be difficult to get off the books.
The Sixers will have a very pivotal offseason ahead of them, and bringing in Morey and Rivers suggests that this team is all in on going for a championship right now. We’ll have to wait and see if they’re actually able to pull it off.