NBA Rumor: 76ers Front Office

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New Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey shared concern that his career in the NBA might have been over after sharing a post on social media that expressed support for a protest group in Hong Kong. “In the last 12 months, I had moments where I thought I might never work in the NBA again, for reasons I was willing to go down for,” Morey told ESPN while discussing his new role with the 76ers. “But I love working, I love what I do, and I didn’t want that to happen.”

Even so, Morey never anticipated the vitriol his tweet generated. At one point, he said, based on intel provided to him, Morey had grave concerns regarding the safety of his wife and two children. “I was actually really, really worried about that,” Morey said. He declined to elaborate on the specific threats. “Luckily I had [access to] different people who were assisting me with that and giving me advice on how to handle it,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ve been able to get where we have some level of safety. “But I was extremely concerned. You don’t want the second-most powerful government on Earth mad at you, if you can avoid it. In this case, I couldn’t.”

And so Wednesday’s news that Daryl Morey was coming aboard to be the Sixers’ new president of basketball operations means that Brand, who reportedly is staying with the organization, will be losing his power. He may end up being the person who explores trades on Moray’s behalf, but he’ll no longer be running the show and bringing his prospective deals to owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer for their approval. Brand did not answer a call seeking comment. “This is part of the competitive nature of sports, where owners want to win and there is enormous pressure to win, and Daryl Morey is considered to be a first-class executive,” said a league source who did not want to be identified by name.

While team sources would not completely rule out the possibility of a hire above Brand, they emphasized the franchise was primarily concerned with building out a staff under Brand, who seems to have emerged with the best reputation on the other side of two disjointed years of roster moves. What the staff looks like around him is ultimately still in flux. EVP of Basketball Ops Alex Rucker, for example, has had his name floated on several occasions as a potential victim of the chopping block.
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