One rival executive says he has come to avoid calling Morey with trade offers, for fear they will leak to the media. Public pressure might help Morey gain leverage to complete a deal. But the leverage comes at the expense of upsetting both organizations’ stability as players, agents, coaches, and families stress about the future.
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Asked months later if he regrets his decision to support the protests in Hong Kong, Morey paused for several seconds before responding, “I’m very comfortable with what I did.”
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.”
Morey referred to his pursuit by the 76ers as a “whirlwind” after he stepped down in Houston, saying Philadelphia “reached out immediately” and they “were aggressive.” None of that is surprising but, at the same time, Morey was candid in saying he didn’t see it playing it out as quickly as it did.
From there, Morey made real news by saying that, in addition to “a couple of NBA teams,” he was contacted by an NFL team and a baseball team. Though the baseball topic wasn’t broached any further, Eisen did ask Morey for more information on the NFL conversation. Morey did indicate that the team that contacted him “didn’t offer it, and they just reached out to talk,” but he wasn’t quite ready to make that jump.”
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.
Morey met with Sixers ownership over the weekend, in their bid to lure him to Philadelphia just two weeks after he stepped down as general manager of the Houston Rockets. It’s expected that he will soon sign a long-term deal to join the team and lead the basketball operations department. Morey also met with Rivers on Sunday, sources tell NBC Sports Philadelphia, discussing their vision and how they would move forward together.
I’m told that Morey and Rivers, who previously worked together with the Boston Celtics, are very much aligned on the future of the organization and that there will be more changes coming with the team. What those changes could be, of course, remains to be seen.
Sources tell us that the Sixers have been interested in Morey since Bryan Colangelo resigned from the GM job in June 2018.
Keith Pompey: Brand has 3 years on his contract, according to a source. Ned Cohen will also remain. Alex Rucker, who was demoted, is expected to be let go. He’ll be with Sixers thru transition, according to source. It could be 3 weeks, 3 months or more.
Shams Charania: Within hours of Daryl Morey parting ways with Rockets, Sixers ownership, led by Josh Harris, was in pursuit — culminating in a NYC dinner on Oct. 18 — and worked to upgrade its front office.
Keith Pompey: The Sixers hired Morey because they wanted stability and experience, according to a source. They think he’ll be a great compliment to Elton Brand. They have a relationship. Morey is also a dealmaker, who attracts and keeps stars happy, the source said.
David Aldridge: League source confirms that 76ers and Daryl Morey are in advanced talks for him to take a leadership role in basketball operations (@Adrian Wojnarowski first). Deal hoped to be done by the weekend. The view is Morey and Elton Brand will be a “1-2 punch” going forward.
Shams Charania: Sources: Former Rockets GM Daryl Morey will sign a five-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers as soon as this weekend to run the franchise’s basketball operations.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Conversations with the Sixers and Daryl Morey started shortly after his departure from Houston, escalated in recent days and will culminate with Morey becoming the Sixers new President, sources tell ESPN. Doc Rivers and Morey have a strong relationship and history together.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Philadelphia 76ers are in advanced talks on a deal to hire Daryl Morey to oversee the franchise’s basketball operations, sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: A deal is expected to be finalized in the next few days, and Sixers GM Elton Brand is expected to remain in his current position, sources said.
Jon Johnson: Peter Dinwiddie will serve as EVP of Basketball Operations; the No. 2 bball ops exec to Elton Brand.
Kyle Neubeck: Alex Rucker is being reassigned within the organization (title/role TBD), while Ned Cohen will continue in his role as assistant general manager, a Sixers team source says
Doc Rivers will be the next head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, a team source confirmed to PhillyVoice. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report. Rivers’ title will be head coach and he will not have front office duties as part of his hire, a source told PhillyVoice on Thursday evening.
As they attempt to restructure their front office this offseason, the Sixers are currently focused on making executive hires underneath GM Elton Brand, who has been the team’s point man during their coaching search, sources tell PhillyVoice.
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.
Ultimately it sounds like individual staff decisions will hinge on external candidates they attempt to lure to Philadelphia. The door is still open for a variety of possibilities, sources say, ranging from staffers being let go to being shifted into new roles in the new look front office. Final decisions will not be made until the team figures out who is being added.
Philadelphia remains intent on building and adding talent under Brand to further strengthen the front office. Brand is well-respected by his peers across the NBA, agents and basketball industry executives. In addition to leading the head coaching search, Brand is having conversations with multiple NBA front-office personnel to bolster his staff. For the 76ers, Brand continues to be the leader of basketball operations.
Derek Bodner: Elton Brand, while reiterating that he believes in Brett Brown as the team’s coach, does admit that the org chart has changed. Previously, it was conveyed that Brown and Brand both reported to owner Josh Harris. Now, according to Brand, it’s a more normal GM/Coach hierarchy.
As The Times reported last July, Philadelphia made an ambitious attempt at trying to hire Daryl Morey away from Houston — and I’m told Philly also commissioned a clandestine run at prying Myers away from the Warriors that was likewise rebuffed.
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May 9, 2021 | 9:02 pm EDT Update
Tim MacMahon: Luka Doncic got ejected vs. Cavs — flagrant 2 for “an aggressive strike to the groin area” of Collin Sexton. That does not count toward Doncic’s technical total, so it won’t trigger an automatic one-game suspension.
James Ham: According to Luke Walton, he is going to play this season out with the team still mathematically in the postseason chase. He sees value in the team going through the process. Once they are eliminated, they will reassess.
Jason Anderson: Kings coach Luke Walton acknowledges Harrison Barnes (adductor) and De’Aaron Fox (health and safety protocols) might not return this season “if it doesn’t make sense” as the season winds down.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Kawhi Leonard said he has to get used to shooting with banged up hand. Asked about his ankle, Kawhi said, “Ankle’s good, it’s just more of me falling on my hand. Second, third play of the game, it’s frustrating, but other than that, I’m good. I’ve been through worse situations”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Andy Miller is joining @Klutch Sports to lead new division of representation for NBA coaches and management, CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN. Miller, an ex-player agent responsible for negotiating $2 billion-plus in deals, reps LAC’s Chauncey Billups, Toronto’s Nick Nurse, among others.
May 9, 2021 | 8:34 pm EDT Update
Duane Rankin: Frank Vogel said although it “looks unlikely” that #Lakers will reach top six to avoid play-in tournament, but is looking to give themselves “a chance” to do it. Losing to #Suns tonight certainly won’t help their cause. Talon Horton-Tucker (calf) game-time decision.