Mid-days With Andrew Salciunas – Weekdays 10am – 2pm

Mid-days With Andrew Salciunas – Weekdays 10am – 2pm

Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey speaks with the media at Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex.

No one really had much expectations for the Sixers coming into this season. Between the James Harden drama, and yet another 2nd round exit, the Sixers’ mood around Philadelphia was the lowest it has been since the start of the Process. But then the season started, and things actually looked good. New Head Coach Nick Nurse has the Sixers running like a well-oiled machine. And after a few games, Daryl Morey finally traded away James Harden, getting back some role players, and more importantly, 2 first-round picks they can eventually use to acquire another star.

Suddenly, large parts of the fan base are back on board. It’s early, but the good play and the fun new look has people enjoying the Sixers again. They are 4-1, with most recently a win over the Suns. 4 guys are averaging at least 20 points. Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, and offseason addition Kelly Oubre Jr. The ball is moving more than it ever did under previous regimes. Nurse has them playing tough defense, and they are just a fun team to watch right now.

Are they good enough to compete for a Ring? It is too soon to tell. If Maxey continues his rise to Super Stardom maybe so. But most still believe they are missing another piece. A move that would probably have to wait a couple of months until they are able to trade some of the players they just acquired.

So to get the scoop on the Harden trade, Nick Nurse, and the Sixers’ hot start, Andrew Salciunas talked to Sixers President Daryl Morey. What moves are still to come? Why have the Sixers looked so good out of the gate? How did the Harden trade come to be? Morey talked about all of that and more.

Here is some of what Daryl Morey had to say:

  • How The Trade With The Clippers Came About

    “Probably the longest (trade) I have ever worked on. We have been talking since June. We obviously talked to other teams as well. But the Clippers were the most interested, and that also turned out to be where James wanted to go. This was an interesting one in how long it took. We were pretty prepared to go into the season. James is an extremely good player, and had great playoff performances for us last year. I can’t really tell you why the Clippers pushed here at the end, but they did. Probably best for both of us that we were able to do this and get on to the next phase of the season.”

  • The Challenge Of Trading a Guy Who Will Only Go To One Team

    “It’s extremely difficult. You mentioned the other big player (Dame Lillard) that got moved this offseason. The key to that deal was opening it up to different teams  than he originally wanted to go to. More than half of these trade requests, the player does not end up with the team they expected… James is obviously very popular with his teammates. Because we were sort of the other team, if that makes sense, if the Clippers wanted to acquire him, they had to give us something that made it interesting enough for us”

  • All In To Win This Year

    “We’re all in to win the title this season and going forward. Anytime you have a player of Joel’s caliber that needs to be your approach. What this trade allows us to do is have multiple future assets, 3 first-round picks now, and 5 when the offseason comes. We continue to improve the team, but we don’t actually need these draft picks. We also have cap room next year that gives us a lot of optionality to add a significant player as well.”

  • On Harden Calling Him A Liar

    “We did commit to trading him, and we did do that in earnest. But it wasn’t happening. So I think he felt that was a big enough reason to go that route, which I didn’t agree with. But now that we have traded him, I think they should just take those signs down and maybe rescind all of that.”

  • On Tyrese Maxey's Growth

    “It is fun to see someone who has put a lot of work in also thriving. He has a good chance to be an All-Star this season. He is electric every single night. Improving on the defensive end, and really taking the reigns on the offensive end.”

  • On If Joel Embiid Is Happy

    “I think you can see it on the floor. He is playing some of the best basketball I have ever seen. One of these 5 games was his best game at least since I have been here. The nice thing about Joel is you can sort of know where he is at by his play. He wears his emotions out there on the court. And right now he is excited about it and excited to win a title in Philly”

  • Thinks Doc Rivers Got a Bad Wrap

    “I think Doc got a bad rep on that. Nick is doing a tremendous job, but I was a big fan of Doc. I thought he did a really good job. We have played an easier schedule. So let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. We have to continue to execute. We have a lot of tough games coming up. We have had very good coaching here since I have been here.”

  • On What The Next Move Is

    “Let’s just enjoy this team. Let’s not worry about what is next always. Let’s go Eastern Philosophy and just be in the moment for a while.”

  • Listen to the full conversation with Daryl Morey below:

  • Watch Andrew Salciunas live on the 97.5 The Fanatic YouTube page on Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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