Potentially, Morey may task Rivers with orchestrating a creative offensive scheme that maximizes the talents of their superstars without making any overly-drastic changes to the roster in the short-term.
The move is a clear indication that the Sixers are serious about maximizing their perceived championship window and interested in winning sooner rather than later. Morey brings a reputation of being an analytics junkie and is largely responsible for shifting the league’s perception of how the 3 point shot is utilized. Fascinatingly, former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie previously worked under Daryl Morey.
Unlike Hinkie however, who will forever live in the annals of NBA infamy for tanking the 76ers for his “process”, Morey has built a name for himself by frequently dealing players and building teams around a specific ideology. In the case of the Philadelphia 76ers, they have a legitimate roster quandary on their hands at the moment. Though most teams would give almost anything to have high-caliber players like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons on their team at the same time, mounting evidence seems to suggest that they just don’t make a great basketball fit together.
One has to question, are the 76ers bringing Morey in despite his willingness to revamp rosters, or because of it? Certain realities are almost a given in the NBA landscape. In this case, it’s almost a certainty that the Sixers will not get equitable value for either Simmons or Embiid. The closest to get fair value that’s theoretically plausible would be a haul of young players and draft picks, which would essentially negate the entire purpose of trying to win sooner rather than later.
Potentially, Morey may task Rivers with orchestrating a creative offensive scheme that maximizes the talents of their superstars without making any overly-drastic changes to the roster in the short-term. This is not necessarily the most realistic possibility, but as they Sixers continue to shore up their coaching staff with top-notch talent, it is certainly within the realm of possibility.
In an off-season where several teams are expected to get better without necessarily making drastic moves, the Sixers are committing to a top-down shift in organizational culture. As a well-respected coach in the league, Rivers’ job will likely not be on the line immediately if the team gets off to a rocky start. Stability at the head coach position, a competent coaching staff, shrewd front office executives, and two unique talents in Embiid and Simmons is a rich recipe for success.
On the other end of this analysis however is the repeated short-comings of both Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers. For all of Morey’s game-changing work with the Houston Rockets, they don’t have even a Western Conference title to show for it.
Granted, no one is alleging that the Rocket’s frequently being the bridesmaid and never the bride is entirely Daryl’s fault, but it can’t be entirely overlooked either. In fact, on can even reasonably conclude that for all of Morey’s clever analytic infusion and Mike D’Antoni‘s brilliant coaching may have accidentally proven that superstars still are the primary engines of winning games.
Doc Rivers on the hand, is twelve years removed from his championship with the Boston Celtics and is slowly becoming more associated with holding the dubious record of having the most game 7 losses in playoffs history. Doc Rivers have not exactly suffered from having poor or even mediocre rosters.
Regardless of how this off-season and upcoming season plays out, the Philadelphia 76ers are clearly pushing their chips to the center of the table. It’s now or never.
Clint is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, and contributed to various sports publications prior to his work with Upside Hoops.