Will firing Daryl Morey mend all wounds for the Philadelphia 76ers?

Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers - Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers - Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

As if this offseason couldn’t be any more dramatic for the Philadelphia 76ers, the already-murky affair with the James Harden ordeal took an even more thespian drift after the All-Star explicitly slammed team president Daryl Morey while on his trip to China just recently.

"Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of."

Oh, and just in case you’re fidgeting around the possibility of this quote being one of those inane, slapdash bits from Twitter (or X) parody accounts, don’t. What you just read, as you know by now, is already a mainstay quote that will likely evolve into a social media template or a meme for crying out loud.

And it seems like he’s only getting started on this parade of tirades.

Beyond the jocular, however, this quote reflects the very quandary that the 76ers have to resolve as soon as possible. Do they ride the current momentum and try to mend things with their star by firing Morey? Or do they pivot off Harden and explore their limited options under the current regime’s watch?

Will firing Daryl Morey be a quick fix for the disgruntled 76ers?

At this juncture, with the 76ers having already taken Harden out of trade talks, they have to choose between one him and Morey, who’s reportedly unfazed by Harden’s staginess, as attempting a fake truce to get by will only foster a comical environment not conducive to winning.

Harden’s novel animosity for Morey after a longstanding relationship rooted in their Houston days was apparently caused by the latter blindsiding him in contract extension talks. It must be noted that the former MVP agreed to a substantial discount last summer to cater for the PJ Tucker and Danuel House Jr. signings. However, it seems that Morey’s party has now been hesitant, if not having already declined outright, to show their best hand in such negotiations.

Even a trade that was supposed to transpire after Harden exercised his player option is now off the table. Even Tucker himself bared his support for him. Thus, Harden venting his frustrations is certainly not without grounds even for the judgmental eye who has already witnessed his histrionics with the Rockets and Nets and came out with a biased whiff of him.

Now, Harden is not without his fault as he basically agreed to a wink and handshake deal before playing the season a tad below his standards. That being said, he acted in good faith, and while a max extension was rightfully not tendered, he’s still at the level where he can demand a multi-year contract near to the maximum.

This is definitely arguable, but the 76ers stand to lose more if they retain Morey. With Harden still having the players’ support, such as Joel Embiid, the one man the Sixers can’t afford to play with, and him still having good rapport with his teammates, Philly would be wise to pick the former MVP if they truly want to maximize their title chances this season.

Morey, for all his undeniable acumen with attracting top talent and desirable role players, already touts a stained reputation. One can only wonder how long the Philadelphia 76ers organization can stay unfastened to that so long as they cling onto him. For that reason, for both the short and long-term, the franchise should already move behind the scenes to move on from him.