“Before you have basic players, your team should be in a state of constant change. You need to continue trading and moving players until you reach that point.” — Daryl Morey Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram In 2019.

If you haven’t heard of it, Ben Simmons is in the trading zone.

Now maybe we haven’t seen the last Simmons wearing a 76ers jersey. Maybe the Simmons legend in Philadelphia is not over yet. Perhaps one party extends an olive branch, and a sincere heart-to-heart dialogue can solve all problems. Perhaps the former No. 1 overall pick was hugged with Joel Embiid, Dr. Rob Rivers, and all 76ers fans, resulting in a team of 20,000 wearing the No. 25 jersey and replacing fourth in Simmons. After the festival, they sang Cumbaya together for their home opener against the Brooklyn Nets.

Or maybe not.

more: The timeline of the Ben Simmons legend

When it comes to manipulation and trading, Darryl Morey is no ordinary NBA decision maker. Unlike the typical front desk executive who sits patiently and waits for the stars to come together before making any major decisions, Morey’s ambitious, well-thought-out and unbridled “go ahead” mentality mimics what most fans and writers like when they continue to talk about trading rumors. Attitude. And launched the NBA trading machine. He did not wait, his performance speaks for itself.

After Morey took over as the 76ers’ president of basketball operations before last season, Jared Dubin of FiveThirtyEight analyzed his time with the Houston Rockets from 2007 to 2020 and found ironically During this period, the only team that made more deals was the 76ers in the process era.

Most famously for his 2012 deal with James Harden to change the league, Morey’s legendary career was driven by his obvious preference for swings-usually wins-whether important or low-key deals. Defined.

With the Simmons legend dominating the NBA offseason news cycle, here are the biggest deals Morey has made.In short, he waved an amazing 77 of them are on the Rockets with 5 times with the 76ers so farWe went through all 82 transactions to determine Morey’s largest transactions and the importance of considering these transactions in the current context. Again, this exercise is not to sue the past, but to provide insight into Morey’s methods and the types of actions we can see in relation to Simmons.

more: Why the Warriors are hesitant to trade Simmons

Installation of early revolving doors in Houston

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Before the start of the 2012-13 season, before Harden’s groundbreaking lore, Morey seized many opportunities. During his first five years in Houston, the revolving door showed the mentality of a restless tactician, constantly repairing and investigating the waters to catch the well-known big fish.

The list of players for Morey Mobile is self-evident:

  • He made a deal for Metta World Peace in 2008.
  • He bet on Steve Francis in the final season and then traded him out after 10 games.
  • He acquired Kyle Lowry in 2009 and then sent him to Toronto in 2012, where he became a perennial All-Star.
  • When he traded the past peak Tracy McGrady to the Knicks in 2010, he allowed Kevin Martin to enter the third team. This move finally paved the way for Harden’s trade.
  • In just 18 months since the No. 2 pick in the draft, he made a long shot for Hasheem Thabeet.

He won some, he lost some. But Morey will never be criticized for lack of effort. His early tenure in Houston laid the foundation for the Rockets’ eight-year extraordinary performance. During this period, the Rockets never hesitated to stand with anyone.

Swing James Harden’s deal

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There is not much to say about one of the most decisive deals in NBA history.

Morey saw a thriving 22-year-old sixth man in the shadow of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and selected him as the aforementioned Martin, Jerry Milano, and three draft picks , These draft picks became Steven Adams, Alex Abrines and Mitch McGary.

As the Thunder’s analytical darling, as long as he has the opportunity to cook without Durant and Westbrook, his performance will soar. Harden checked every box on Morey’s wish list.

Did he know that Harden would become the most dominant singles scorer after Michael Jordan? maybe not. Does he think that Harden will become a contender for the all-year All-Star, the main team and the scoring champion in the next few years? Absolutely.

The analysis-driven NBA landscape in 2022 is very different from 2012, when young stars like Harden can be more easily hidden in conspicuous places. That Rockets didn’t have an Embiidian player at his peak and ready to win, so maybe Morey would not bet on an unproven young star who is currently mistaken for a minor role. However, if you are looking for the type of player he might eventually target in the Simmons trade, don’t bet on a repeat of history.

Abandon the farm for Chris Paul

Morey will venture to the end of the earth to find a second star. Just as he knows Harden in Houston won’t open the door forever, you better believe that he feels the same for Embiid in Philadelphia.

This is why he did not refuse to give up up to eight assets for Chris Paul when he entered the 2017-18 season. The package includes a starting point guard (Patrick Beverley), the league’s best backup scorer (Louis Williams), the future sixth man of the year (Monterez Harrell), and a The 22-year-old top 20 rookie (Sam Decker) and the future top three protected first-round picks.

It doesn’t matter that Paul is a point guard.

It doesn’t matter that Paul is 32 years old.

It doesn’t matter that Paul is prone to premature injury.


The important thing is to raise the ceiling and find the best players to match the cornerstone of his franchise at his peak. This is not perfect. However, if the Rockets did not lead 0-27 in the 2018 game against the Warriors, then they are likely to win the NBA championship because Morey’s bet on CP3 broke the balance and put them in trouble. Incredible position: Take out the Golden State Warriors.

Does the 76ers want to give up more than Simmons? of course not. Morey would love to be with Tyrese Maxi, Matisse Sable, Shaq Milton and his future first-round picks. But he will do whatever it takes. If it means giving up the farm to get a legitimate star to get the 76ers above the top, so be it.

Bet on Russell Westbrook

Trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook was Morey’s last big move in Houston.

more: How will Russell Westbrook adapt to LeBron James?

Even if this will not ultimately fall on Morey-there are a lot of rumors that Harden and Rockets president Tilman Fertitta finally made this decision-the consistent characteristics of the high-risk, high-return model still exist.

On paper, the idea of ​​Westbrook and Harden partnering has never made sense. However, time and time again, the NBA has proven to be a star-driven league, centered around the brightest constellations in the sky. Considering Paul’s injury problems after two seasons in Houston, Morey does not have all other options to pursue, hoping to catch the lightning in the bottle.

Win the Seth Curry deal

Every 76ers fan: “We need shooters.”

After two weeks of work, Morey: ” The second-accurate shooter in NBA history? “

The most accurate three-point shooter in history
3-pt FG Pct
1.Steve Kerr 45.4
2. Seth Curry 44.4
3. Hubert Davis 44.1
4. Joe Harris 43.8
5. Drazan Petrovich 43.7

Morey jumped into Philadelphia and, within 16 days, after an incredibly boring and impressive performance in the 76ers’ first season, he turned Josh Richardson into Seth Curry, the long-time The shooter through the battlefield solved the Philadelphia team’s two biggest problems (trustworthy playoff experience and shooting percentage).

Six months later, Curry scored an average of 20 points or more with a 60% field goal percentage in the second round. Richardson dropped out of the Mavericks rotation and was sent back to Boston in exchange for an undrafted 21-year-old. Players.

Cancellation of contract with Al Horford

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The year before Morey appeared, the previous regime decided that it was a good idea to sign a four-year, $109 million contract with a 33-year-old center, even though he was in the same position as Embiid.

As expected, it did not succeed. The lineup with Horford and Embiid scored 0.4 points higher per 100 possessions, and even on their best day, it proved to be an awkward match. Horford ushered in the worst season of his career, and it looks like he has gone far beyond the “key figure of a potential championship team”, which is a far cry from someone who owes $81 million in the next three seasons. .

Suddenly, Philadelphia had one of the most unshakable contracts in the league.

Not only did Morey moved it, but the 76ers still benefited more than a year later. Not only did they get Danny Green, a key two-way starter and a much-needed shooter, they also got Terrence Ferguson and Vincent Prill. Morey before moving to George Hill for George Hill in March last year Persevering for a year, they may finally start about how the Simmons legend is staged.

Worst of all, those are two reliable and experienced rotation players. At best, this is the starting backcourt for a potential 2022 championship team. All this is for a highly paid center once considered one of the worst contracts in the league.

more: Winners and losers of NBA free agents

There are many things that need to be studied in depth, and they are not even caught in the weeds of dexterous actions, such as packing non-guaranteed contracts to open up additional salary space for future moves on the chess board. As the Simmons legend continues, it is wise to remember Morey’s past record when trying to figure out his next move. This is a great magician who simply pulls a rabbit out of a hat.

No matter how bold, shrewd or seemingly trivial, Morey’s every move is connected by a common thread: unwavering, unparalleled promise of victory.


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