The Philadelphia 76ers are at a pivotal point in the franchise’s timeline of the Joel Embiid era. The man to lead them through this time is President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey. Zooming out on his tenure so far, Morey has done a fairly great job but this will not be about that.
To be fair, I had to write that Morey has done well in putting the Sixers in a position to contend while having an MVP runner-up two years running. Despite that, the Sixers have wound up in the same position before Morey came on to work for the team. A second-round bounce. The team has got their core in Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey. If the Sixers are truly serious about contending, Daryl Morey’s ineptitude on the margins cannot repeat itself.
So where did Morey fall short? There’s a handful of ways in my opinion. The ways being the team’s reliance on Danny Green, the Harden trade being done so late it did not allow for the acquisition of helpful role players, the possibility of being fooled by Matisse Thybulle’s Olympic play, playing up the DeAndre Jordan signing on the Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast, and how he seemingly does not have the same roster philosophy as Doc Rivers.
Philadelphia 76ers: Daryl Morey’s small mistakes cannot repeat: Reliance on Danny Green
Danny Green’s value to the Sixers is somewhat underrated if you poll the Sixers fanbase but that doesn’t mean that as Daryl Morey you rely on Danny Green to be the same level of contributor he was on the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, or the Los Angeles Lakers. Danny Green was the second-best two-way wing on the Sixers last season behind Tobias Harris.
It was at the point where the team was somewhat lost without Danny Green’s connective availability. In this past second-round loss, Green’s catastrophic injury was a gut punch. The year before that in the Hawks series Green’s injury was much more pivotal than it should be.
On any team that is not a positive sign because a 34-year-old Danny Green being your second best wing will most likely not get you to championship heights. Morey’s lack of initiative to litter the Sixers’ rotation with capable two-way wings is a mistake that cannot happen again.
Morey has already gotten started on that front by using Green’s contract, as he is unlikely to play this year with a torn anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligament in his left knee, by trading it for a 24-year-old guard De’Anthony Melton from the Memphis Grizzlies. The moves to upgrade the wing position are certainly not done.