The Sixers are facing a pivotal offseason and it’s up to Daryl Morey to guide them. Thankfully, he appears to be the right man for the job.
Following a disappointing end to the season, Sixers’ President of Operations’ faced the media and gave his thoughts on the past season and what is to be expected moving forward. Morey’s impressive resume gave the Sixers confidence in making the hire, and he has helped the organization make some massive moves already during his time in charge. After sitting in on the postseason media session, here are some major takeaways for Sixers fans:
Doc Rivers is Here to Stay
Doc Rivers failed in a massive way this postseason. He was stubborn in his rotations, failed to inject life in a stagnate offense, and was not able to get the Sixers to capitalize on what was a very winnable series against the Atlanta Hawks. With a career 98-94 postseason record, it is fair to question if Rivers is the guy to get the Sixers over the championship hump, but it is clear Daryl Morey does not feel this way.
“I thought Doc just did a tremendous job with the roster.”
“I love the reaction Doc got in the locker room with everyone.”
Morey also spoke of the impact that Doc Rivers has had in the growth of Seth Curry:
“Seth is improving before our eyes which I think is super exciting, again a testament to him and what Doc’s been able to do.”
To be fair to Rivers, he had an extremely successful regular season and led the Sixers to their best winning percentage since the 2000-01 season. Morey spoke about his impact in creating a culture and has high hopes for Doc’s impact moving forward. The Sixers signed the former Clippers coach to a 5 year $40 million deal prior to this year, so it seemed unlikely that a change would be considered. Morey emphasized his full faith in Rivers, and it is clear he is expected to be the guy that helps the Sixers reach their ultimate championship goal.
“We Didn’t Have Quite Good Enough Players”
While the evidence is clear given that the Sixers were bounced in the second round of the playoffs, changes are needed on the roster. The obvious question is just how large of a change that Morey believes is necessary, and, as one might expect, he did not give a direct answer too. While he gave support of the trio of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Tobias Harris, he also referenced the challenges the team faces by lacking perimeter creation.
The elephant in the room is obviously what will happen with Ben Simmons after an extremely poor postseason showing. Despite several attempts to pin him down, Morey danced around the question as much as he could.
Ultimately I am sure Daryl Morey does not even know the answer to this question. The frustrations with Simmons’ lack of growth on the offensive end certainly feel to have boiled over in Philly, and in an ideal world, Morey would be shipping him off for a better fitting co-star for Joel Embiid. Daryl Morey is too smart to make a move that will not help the Sixers in the long run, and with his stock at an all-time low, the future of Ben Simmons is very uncertain. Regardless, it is clear that Morey understands there are changes to be made, and that will undoubtedly occur this offseason.
“We have a very strong group we believe in. None of us can predict the future…In terms of what next we’re going to do what’s best for the 76ers to give us the best chance to win a championship.”
“We can’t overreact to anything that just happened but you also can’t under react.”
“We need to be a better offensive team… I think, and I know Doc believes, there is internal improvement that can help there and then I think there’s obviously external improvements as well.”
“it’s my job to get the best players. We didn’t have quite good enough players.”
Daryl Morey is the Right Guy for the Job
While he was professional throughout the entire interview, it was clear Daryl Morey had genuine disappointment in the ending to the Sixers season. Despite his reputation for mastering roster-building through the draft and trades, Morey has yet to secure his first title. This ‘chip on the shoulder’ mentality should be looked at as an extreme positive and is a vote of confidence for how serious Morey takes the challenge. While some front offices are content with winning seasons and securing long-term success, it is clear the Sixers have one set goal in sight.
“Frankly if we’re just squeaking by the second round, we are not good enough to win the title. We have to get better. That series is still incredibly painful”
“I’m still stunned sitting here that we didn’t win Game 7 at home”
This offseason will prove to be one of the most important in Sixers’ franchise history. The championship window is certainly open but it will not remain this way forever. Finding a way to retool and give the team its best chance to compete for a title next year is essential. While much of the press conference was fluff talk filled with ‘GM speak,’ Sixers fans should look at the postseason presser from Morey in a positive light and look forward to next season. The sour taste of the postseason exit will linger but brighter days are on the horizon.