February 4, 2023


President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey, James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers

With the NBA trade deadline approaching in a few weeks, the Philadelphia 76ers are running out of time to get some upgrades to their roster. Though the clock is ticking, Liberty Ballers’ David Early pointed out that President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey, made his mark in the NBA through his clever work with the Houston Rockets.

“In Houston, Morey became famous not only for doing historical deductions, like tearing down the thunder for James Harden in the first place, but also for working on the fringes and working with people like Pat Beverley, PJ Tucker, Clint Capela, or Ben McLemore used late picks and nifty free agent signings,” Early said.

However, Early went on to bring up the waiver of Isaiah Joe, a former Sixers second-round player who was released by the team in Octobermade for an error on Morey’s side that looks worse in hindsight given his current contract and performance this season.

“Such a player who could have done it but isn’t going to fit the bill for wins on the fringes now,” Early said. “Isaiah Joe was the ideal young player with a dirt cheap salary that the Sixers could have used to make room for their stars.

“With that in mind, it was particularly unfortunate that Isaiah Joe’s mini-breakout was held in Oklahoma City rather than Philadelphia this year.”

How Joe’s outburst affects the Sixers

After the Sixers fired Joe, the Thunder signed Joe to a three-year, $6 million contract. This season, Joe is averaging 7.9 points while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 44.7 from three while shooting 4.4 three-point attempts per game. Because of this, Early points out how much of a steal Joe could have been for the Sixers had they kept him.

“The team could have stuck Joe on a ridiculous Sam Hinkie special contract. The former Razorback marksman was the 49th pick of the 2020 draft, picking him was one of Morey’s first (and finer?) moves as team president.”

Due to Joe’s outburst, Early believes his performance will affect the Sixers’ approach to the deadline.

“The 23-year-old’s blistering shooting now puts added pressure on key decision-makers in Philadelphia to significantly improve this roster by the February 9 deadline.”

Despite Joe’s rise to sniping, the Sixers are one of the best long-range shooting teams, shooting 38 percent from three in the season, good for fourth overall in the league. However, they have 13th place with most three-pointers attempted per game, averaging 13.3.

Sixers possibly linked to Kyle Kuzma

On the January 14 episode of “Postin’ Up With Keith Smith & Adam Taylor,” Smith explained Morey’s thought process as he neared the trade deadline and why he believes Kyle Kuzma is up for grabs for the Sixers.

“He’s going to be doing stuff on the fringes of his roster, and he’s got some moving parts there that you’re going to see, he’s going to do something to fill that team a little bit more,” Smith said. “And that’s where a guy like Kyle Kuzma, who makes $13 million, could come in for them. Because it’s a very cheap contract, you don’t have to do much to reach the salary.”


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