The Philadelphia 76ers had what could be characterized as a rough season, despite making it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
They had a "star" in Ben Simmons who never played a single game for them this season. Simmons also fought mental health issues that eventually most people believe boiled down to apathy. Eventually, the 76ers traded Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets for another controversial star—James Harden.
They have Joel Embiid, a two-time MVP runner-up and a perennial MVP candidate. They have a former MVP in Harden. They are easily set up to already be a top Eastern Conference team next season.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, 76ers President of Operations Daryl Morey is looking to be aggressive in the offseason. Windhorst was on a radio show and had a lot to say about Morey's plans.
"I promise you that Daryl Morey has big, giant plans to acquire another star. Whether he's going to execute it, I don't know. But part of getting that done is to require Harden to take some sort of paycut."
Whoa. Let's just be blunt here: James Harden should be taking a pay cut, but it's unlikely James Harden will be looking to take a pay cut. Gentleman's clubs are expensive in Philadelphia. Sorry, I'm not sorry. That reputation of Harden is well-earned. If we accept the premise that Harden could take a pay cut, Windhorst was then asked about who the 76ers are looking to acquire. Windhorst's response is gold.
"you're doing a very good job of asking a question that would potentially create news if I give you the honest answer, so I'm going to stop just short of that. Philly has dreams and plans, Daryl Morey does. A key factor here is that they have Tobias Harris, who would have value in a possible trade. They have Tyrese Maxey, who would have value in a possible trade. And you would need a player, potentially near the end of his contract, to come and say, 'I would like to go and play in Philadelphia.' Is that something that could happen? Maybe. We'll see. I know Philly and Daryl are going to try and make it happen."
Okay, this seems to be a little specific. The obvious answer is Bradley Beal. The 76ers were interested in him before his injury, so why wouldn't they be now? Let's rewind for a moment, though. This reeks of propaganda or clout-chasing. Is Windhorst generating smoke and mirrors for rumor season? Already? This doesn't seem likely, but Windhorst's quotes do seem a little sensational.
Also, is trading Tyrese Maxey a good idea? Maxey had a breakout sophomore season, scoring 17.5 points per game with 4.3 assists. 76er fans would not react well to this trade unless it pulled in a "Bradley Beal or better" type of star. Even then, it's a risky proposition.
We are talking about Daryl Morey though. Fortune favors the bold, as they say, and Morey is certainly bold. Is bold the right word?