Morey’s draft night moves take the Sixers a step closer to contending

Josh Richardson dribbles ball
The Sixers were the most active team in the NBA on draft night. Photo from Liberty Ballers.

With the NBA Draft complete, the Philadelphia 76ers have begun their roster overhaul. Daryl Morey made several sizeable moves on draft night, trading away Al Horford and Josh Richardson and bringing in Danny Green and Seth Curry.

The Sixers drafted Tyrese Maxey in the first round followed by Isaiah Joe and Paul Reed in the second. Morey has already addressed major needs and managed to shed the Horford contract.

Picks were attached to move Horford, as were the rights to Vasilije Micic. The 34th selection in Wednesday’s draft went to the Thunder, as did a protected 2025 first-round pick. The Sixers also received young wing Terrance Ferguson.

The Richardson deal saw the Sixers land Seth Curry and give up the 36th overall pick. Curry is a markedly better three-point shooter than Richardson – he shot over 45% from deep last season and sits at around 44% for his career. His arrival is also important longer-term. Richardson is a free agent at the end of the upcoming season. The Sixers get three years of Curry, and on a decent salary at that. He’s owed a bit over $24 million over that span.

Richardson is the superior defender, but the Sixers are loaded with defensive talent. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are two of the 10 best defensive players in the NBA. Green remains a superb team defender, and Matisse Thybulle is a phenomenon off the bench. They can cover for Curry’s weaknesses.

Morey’s first draft brought in players the Sixers have needed. Joe is a knockdown three-point shooter. Maxey is an athletic combo-guard, who can handle it a bit, but he’s comfortable off-ball. That’s exactly the Sixers need alongside Simmons – whether listed as a forward or a point guard, the former first overall pick will spend a lot of time with the ball in his hands.

With free agency coming, one can’t help but wonder what Morey has lined up. Could he find a trade for Tobias Harris? Are there veterans willing to take a lower salary to play with Embiid and Simmons? The Sixers still need more shooting and ideally another ball handler.

This was a great night for Philly. Morey has already made his mark on this roster – they’re a better team now than they were 24 hours ago. It’s just the start, though, and there’s plenty of work to do before they will be taken seriously as a contender.


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About Sam Cox 513 Articles
Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play.

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