May 18, 2022
Daryl Morey said Doc Rivers will be back and, with some work, James Harden will too. But the Sixers president may also have greater ambitions still at play.
Appearing on ESPN's #Greeny radio show on Monday, NBA Insider Brian Windhorst dropped that Morey has plans of going star hunting again.
"I think Harden will be back, it'll just be a matter of negotiating the contract and making sure that it makes sense for the Sixers to improve because I promise you that Daryl Morey has big giant plans to acquire another star.
"Philly has dreams and plans as Daryl Morey does and a key factor here is they have Tobias Harris, who would have value in a possible trade, and they have Tyrese Maxey, who would have value in a possible trade, and you would need a player, potentially near the end of his contract, to come and say 'I would like to go play in Philadelphia.'
"Is that something that could happen? Maybe. We'll see. I know that Philly and Daryl are gonna try to make it happen. A lot more will be clear about the market after the draft lottery [Tuesday] night. There are some teams that, depending on where they move in the draft lottery or don't move, could be open to deals that they may not be today. So really, you'll get a better feel for what could happen in and around the draft after we get that settled tomorrow." [ESPN]
Tomorrow got settled. The Orlando Magic have the first pick, then the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and Detroit Pistons round out the Top 5 in the draft respectively.
What we're looking for now is a star player nearing the end of his contract, presumably within the next year. Using Spotrac's free-agent list for 2023, there are a few names of note, but the only one that makes any sort of sense is Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
The 2021-22 season was a down one for Beal. He only played 40 games and saw his production drop from 31.3 points per game on 48.5% shooting in 2020-21 down to 23.2 points on 45.1%. But most are willing to chalk this year up as an anomaly as Beal was marred by injuries, COVID cases, and personal loss.
The Sixers are still in need of a reliable and versatile source of scoring, and at 28, Beal should be able to provide at least a few more years of that, especially if he's sharing a floor with Joel Embiid.
Beal's future in Washington has been murky for a long time now. His name has been floated around in rumors the past couple years, but he has stayed put with the Wizards even though they've been middling at best for much of his 10 years with the team.
This might be the time to move on and Morey could capitalize on that. And hey, if Bill Simmons is to be believed, Embiid was apparently pushing for Beal back at the trade deadline before the Sixers ultimately went with Harden.
We'll see what this summer brings.
Right now the wound from yet another second-round playoff exit is still pretty fresh.
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