James Harden trade and 4 other regrettable 76ers moves Daryl Morey botched

The 76ers wish they could have a redo on these moves.
Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden, Daryl Morey
Philadelphia 76ers, James Harden, Daryl Morey / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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4. Jalen McDaniels trade

The Sixers did not pull off a blockbuster at the 2023 trade deadline. Instead, it was trading Matisse Thybulle to Portland in a three-team deal that brought back Jalen McDaniels. There were multiple second-round draft picks involved, including Philly parting with what turned out to be the 34th overall selection in 2023, but the gist was losing an elite defender for an unproven 6’9 forward.

Morey touted the trade after the deadline, but this quote was worth remembering.

"We really think Jalen is sort of a hidden gem. Sometimes when teams struggle that much, there are players in there that really just need an opportunity to show what they can do on a better team."

It was clear the 76ers president of basketball operations thought McDaniels would play a key role, but things did not pan out. The 6’9 wing averaged 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game during the regular season. His minutes dipped in the playoffs before falling out of the rotation entirely in the second round against the Celtics.

The 76ers had an elite defender with a flawed offensive game in Thybulle. Why did they flip him for a worse option with the same skill set? The trade did not make sense for Philadelphia and got even worse when McDaniels bolted for Toronto in free agency. The Sixers traded an elite defender for 32 subpar games from the 26-year-old.

It was not the only miss Daryl Morey has produced in recent years in trying to find players that fit around Joel Embiid.