5 things we learned from Daryl Morey’s post-draft press conference

BATON ROUGE, LA – FEBRUARY 18: Kentucky Wildcats guard Tyrese Maxey (3) dribbles the ball during a game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on February 18, 2020. (Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire)

Daryl Morey gave some insight into the Sixers following the 2020 NBA Draft.

After a ridiculously busy couple of hours for the Sixers President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey took some time to meet with the media after the draft. Albeit he was over 30 minutes late to the Zoom call (he did apologize for his tardiness), Morey provided us all with a brief glimpse into how he’s viewing the Sixers at the moment.

Prioritizing “fit”.

Something that he repeatedly mentioned throughout the call, Morey placed a great deal of emphasis on the concept of “fit” when it came to his roster construction over the last couple of hours. He named Al Horford and Josh Richardson as good players, but said the decision to move on from them ultimately came down to surrounding Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid with shooters.

Morey specifically cited the “historic” dominance that Embiid-Simmons lineups have had in the past when surrounded by the appropriate floor-spacers. The additions of Danny Green and Seth Curry should undoubtedly aid the team in getting back to that place.

Tyrese Maxey was a steal at pick #21.

About a week before the NBA draft, Tyrese Maxey told me that he hadn’t had any formal contact with Philadelphia yet. The Sixers likely felt he wouldn’t be available at pick #21, and Morey essentially confirmed that thought process during his press conference.

Morey said he was “thrilled” when Maxey fell to him, and labeled him as someone who should’ve been selected in the lottery. Morey and the Sixers likely had a completely different set of plans with their first-round pick that they abandoned once Maxey inexplicably fell to them.

Designating a chain of command.

On a handful of occasions, Morey was asked about the looming free agency period and just how challenging adjusting to a new organization has been. Morey was quick to name people like Elton Brand and Vince Rozman as guys who have helped him adjust and further explained that he likes to delegate a good amount of responsibility to guys who work beneath him.

Morey wants to build a “chain of command”, where each Sixers executive has a role within the organization. He also stated that his ultimate goal is having the NBA filled with former Sixers front office employees in executive-based positions.

Ben Simmons at center?

It was a brief comment, but it did not go unnoticed. When asked about the team’s current backup center situation (or lack thereof), Morey floated around the idea of “experimenting” with some unique lineups that feature Ben Simmons potentially playing center.

The Sixers have tried this in the past, running Ben as a small-ball five, but the addition of the before mentioned shooters should ultimately make this strategy far more effective.

More moves on the horizon?

While Morey initially stated that he and Doc Rivers were “comfortable” with their current group of players, he did hint at the possibility of bringing in more players via free agency.

Morey specifically mentioned Doc Rivers’ ability to “attract” free agents, potentially tipping his hand at the likelihood of more veterans joining the roster. Backup center is still a need that likely needs addressing, and the Sixers could always use more shooters.

It was an exhilarating couple of hours for Morey and the Sixers, and he was noticeably tired on the Zoom call (he even apologized for that too!). Daryl Morey had a daunting task in front of him heading into this year’s draft, but as of now, he’s done a fantastic job fixing multiple issues.

He’s modernized the Sixers overnight, living up to the mantra of him being an elite basketball executive.

Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire