76ers President Daryl Morey Promises to Build Around Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey

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Philadelphia 76ers President Daryl Morey Promises to Build Around Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey

Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey plans to retool the Sixers’ roster this offseason and build around stars Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, according to multiple sources.

Kelly Oubre Jr., Kyle Lowry, and Nic Batum are all ending the season on an expired contract. Morey has roughly $65 million in cap space, a first-round draft pick, and a max contract to offer to Maxey this summer.

“We’re not going to have continuity,” Morey said Monday at the 76ers’ headquarters. “We’ll have continuity with our stars and our head coach, but we’re going to have a lot of changes this season.”

The Sixers’ first-round exit against the New York Knicks made it 41 years since the franchise’s last NBA championship. Philadelphia hasn’t advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs since 2001.

“We’re focused on Joel and Tyrese, and we’re focused on now,” Morey said.

According to reports, the 76ers plan to add a veteran star this summer to help Embiid and Maxey. Players mentioned include Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George, and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

James and George would have to decline player options to hit the market. However, other notable options suggested by NBA insiders include Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam and Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan.

Sixers coach Nick Nurse coached Siakam and DeRozan with the Toronto Raptors. Both players are free agents and would help upgrade Philadelphia’s frontcourt.

“You have to factor in the age,” Morey said. “We feel like we’re in the window where we have to win now. We’re mostly focused on getting the best players that fit with Joel and Tyrese.”

Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey is OK with Joel Embiid playing for Team USA at the 2024 Summer Olympics

Joel Embiid will be 31 next March in his ninth NBA season, and everyone is expecting the seven-time All-Star center to once again miss a number of games. He has never played more than 68 games in a season.

“I feel like I could have done a better job with the players so that we were in a better spot to win without him,” Morey said. “That said, we do spend 90 percent of the time figuring out how to win the title with him. It can’t be a big focus, how we play without him.

“We know that team can’t win a championship. It’s really, how do we manage through it better? I felt like, on me, the depth wasn’t quite there when he was out to win at the level we wanted to win at.”

Unfortunately for Sixers fans, Embiid intends to play for USA Basketball at the Paris Olympics. Fans were hoping to see him rest this summer after he underwent meniscus surgery on his left knee. That’s not happening.

“It’s a dream of his to represent the United States in the Olympics,” Morey said. “I think it’s important to support the dreams of your best player.”

Embiid is the only MVP in NBA history to never play in a conference finals series.

For the 2024 NBA Draft, the 76ers hold the 16th overall pick in the first round and 41st pick in the second. Though, Morey seems more focused on acquiring additional draft picks for future trades.

“We don’t really focus on the draft for help now,” Morey said. “I do really love 16. The storylines have been that the draft is worse. I don’t see that at all. I’m very excited at who’s at 16. That said, as you might expect, we have all options on the table. Trade into the future so we keep more picks available for future trades.”

Moreover, Maxey’s max contract is a top priority this offseason. The fourth-year guard received his first All-Star selection and won the 2023-24 NBA Most Improved Player Award. In 70 games (all starts), he averaged career highs of 25.9 points, 6.2 assists, 1.0 steal, and 37.5 minutes per contest.

“We should all learn not to bet against Tyrese,” Morey said.

Of course, Maxey is entering the offseason as a restricted free agent. The 76ers will be able to match any offer extended to the breakout star. He is eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million contract.

“This offseason is a big one. I owe it to the fans, to ownership, to everybody, to get this team in a place where we’re competing for championships. We obviously didn’t achieve it this year,” Morey added.

When will the 76ers win a title this century? Next year will be another make-it-or-break-it season for Morey.