The Sixers have made it official, announcing today in a press release that they’ve hired Daryl Morey as their new president of basketball operations. Within the release, the club also confirmed that general manager Elton Brand has signed a multiyear contract extension.
“Daryl Morey is one of the very best front-office executives in the NBA and I’m thrilled to welcome him to Philadelphia as the 76ers President of Basketball Operations,” Sixers owner Josh Harris said in a statement. “Talent like Daryl rarely becomes available so we moved quickly and aggressively to bring him here. He has an extraordinary track record of success in this league as an innovator, visionary and leader, and I believe he significantly improves our chances of delivering a championship caliber team to our fans.
“This offseason, we made it our mission to make this organization better and stronger. By hiring a tremendous front-office leader in Daryl and championship coach in Doc (Rivers), as well as extending Elton, we’re proud of what we’ve assembled. I’m excited for their leadership and look forward to continuing to build a team this city and our fans can be proud of.”
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Reports first indicated last Wednesday that the Sixers and Morey were in advanced talks on a five-year deal that would make him the team’s president of basketball operations. David Aldridge of The Athletic said at the time that the team envisions Morey and Brand as a “1-2 punch” in the front office, though their titles suggest that Morey will be the one with the final say on basketball decisions.
Morey spent 14 years with the Rockets before parting ways with the franchise in October. In Houston, he developed a reputation as a outside-the-box thinker who was creative in navigating the salary cap and building his roster. The veteran executive, who was known for constantly pursuing star players, helped to revolutionize the Rockets as a small-ball team that relied heavily on shooting three-pointers.
At the time of his departure from Houston, reports indicated that Morey may take some time off before seeking a new NBA job, but the Sixers’ aggressive pursuit convinced him to accept a new position almost immediately. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta had predicted that Morey would eventually join an East Coast franchise, but likely didn’t think it would happen so soon.
For the 76ers, it’s the culmination of their long-standing interest in Morey. Philadelphia received permission to talk to the Rockets’ GM two years ago and reportedly made an offer, but he elected to remain in Houston at that time. Now, Morey will be tasked with making the adjustments necessary to turn a roster headed by All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons into a legit championship contender.
The Sixers have indicated both publicly and privately that it has no plans to trade Embiid or Simmons anytime soon, despite the fact that the fit between the two stars has been awkward at times. However, oversized long-term contracts for Tobias Harris and Al Horford will make it a challenge for the club to reshape its roster around its two franchise players.
Morey said in a statement within today’s Sixers press release that he’s looking forward to trying to win a title in Philadelphia.
“I am humbled by the challenge and will work tirelessly to win the hearts of Philadelphia’s legendary fans,” Morey said. “The opportunity to work again with Doc Rivers, Elton Brand, and a stacked roster that is ready to win made this a can’t miss opportunity.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.