The 76ers are a completely new team. The team’s new brass made up of Daryl Morey, Elton Brand, Doc Rivers, Peter Dinwiddie, and Prosper Karangwa made their mark. Leading the charge is Daryl Morey. Morey has been employed by the organization for just over 2 weeks, but on Wednesday night’s draft, he’s already stamped his mark on the organization. One thing was clear after Morey’s first draft night as the 76ers President of Basketball Operations: this is a new day for the Philadelphia 76ers franchise.
Morey started off the night almost 2 hours before the draft by moving one of the NBA’s worst contracts. Al Horford was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder along with a future 1st rounder and the 34th pick in last night’s draft. In return, the 76ers got back a veteran 3 and D player, Danny Green and a valuable (and young) role player in Terrance Ferguson.
This move signified that Morey would make changes to the roster that were centered around fit. Specifically, the fit between the 76ers two franchise building blocks, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
In the days and weeks leading up to the draft, many media members projected the Sixers to target shooters like Desmond Bane, Tyrell Terry or Aaron NeSmith. However, the player they selected has a ceiling that likely should’ve led him to being selected in the lottery.
Morey agrees, as he stated,”The overall package—he’s just a guy you get in the lottery. To get him at 21, we’re excited about it.”
The 76ers selected Kentucky guard, Tyrese Maxey with the 21st pick in the draft. Maxey may very well end up being the steal of the draft.
The 6’3 guard brings two-way ability that fits very well with this Sixers team. He’s a tenacious defender, who ranked in the 97th percentile of points per possession allowed in one-on-one situations with a staggering, 0.26 points. Offensively, Maxey excels with great body control when attacking the rim and displayed a keen ability as a pick and roll ball handler, producing .928 PPP (86th percentile) and averaged 1.121 points per possession when attacking the rim. Maxey will be an amazing fit in Doc Rivers pick and roll heavy offensive system.
Maxey again continued the trend of fit, as he possesses the ability to get up and down the court quickly in transition.
Morey and Elton Brand then waited until the second round to make another move, again centered around fit.
The 76ers acquired sharpshooter, Seth Curry in exchange for Josh Richardson and the 36th pick in the 2nd round.
Curry is a career 44.3% shooter from 3 and was 3rd in 3-pt field goal percentage in 2019. Ben Simmons has generated the most 3-pt field goals since he entered the league. This move also helps Joel Embiid who will benefit greatly from having the spacing created by Curry’s presence (NO MORE ZONE DEFENSE AGAINST THE 76ERS).
After all this, there were still 2 picks to be made.
The 76ers had made a promise (reportedly), similar to the one they made Matisse Thybulle in the lead up to last year’s draft. But this year the promise was made to Arkansas guard, Isaiah Joe.
With this pick, one word came to mind: SHARPSHOOTER.
This pick was again about fit and adding spacing to a team that DESPERATELY lacked in a season ago.
The 6’5 guard shot 41% from 3 as a freshman at Arkansas and 34% from 3 as a sophomore. Some may look at this and say, sharpshooter? But yes, Joe is a sharpshooter in every sense of the word. Percentages dipped from freshman to sophomore year because of how many threes Joe took in his second year (10.6 a game). Bleacher Report pro comp for Joe: Landry Shamet.
Lastly, the team took power forward Paul Reed. The DePaul forward brings shooting and defensive ability to the 76ers. Reed brings the ability to guard multiple positions and he is a DISRUPTOR on the defensive end of the court, averaging 2.6 blocks and 2 steals during the 2019 season.
Reed was the culmination of a night centered around fit. As a high energy, up tempo style power forward, Reed, with some development, could prove to be a nice grab by Morey and the Sixers scouting department.
“Paul Reed’s a guy who can guard multiple positions and we can play a dynamic, up-tempo shooting (style),” Morey said on Reed.
Overall, this draft night was one that signaled a changing of the guard for the 76ers organization. Almost all of the mistakes made by this organization over the past 3 season were un-done in under 2 hours by Daryl Morey.
Morey had a plan and he executed that plan.
Next up: Free Agency