Sixers GM Daryl Morey spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon for about 35 minutes. It was his end of season availability following Sunday night’s disastrous playoff exit at the Wells Fargo Center.
He took a lot of questions on Ben Simmons, and didn’t give too much away about plans for the much-maligned point guard. Morey had praise for Doc Rivers and spoke about the disappointment of falling short as a #1 seed in his first year with the franchise.
Notes and quotes right here:
- On the question of Ben Simmons staying here vs. training in LA or elsewhere this summer, he’s not concerned about that. Say it’s important to get the work in and doesn’t care where it is.
- On the Sixers’ core: “the reality is only one team is left standing each year… we gave ourselves a really good chance this year, obviously it’s a grave disappointment (to go out early).”
- RE: George Hill and the bench, Morey says he “loves” the young players pushing the vets and believes George Hill played well defensively and “added quite a bit” down the stretch.
- Is there a commitment to Ben being on this roster? – “We’re committed to this group.. played at a high level, part of my job is to self reflect and read what others are writing, because you can learn from that.. a lot of what I’m reading I frankly don’t understand, people saying the Sixers are in a bad situation… I don’t choose to come here, Doc doesn’t choose to come here if this is a bad situation.”
I asked about Joel Embiid’s meniscus tear in an exchange that went like this:
Crossing Broad: What can you tell us about the extent of Joel’s knee injury and do you know if he’s going to require offseason surgery?
Morey: I think we’re all super impressed with what Joel was able to do. He’s the heart and soul of the team and what he did every night for us will be forever appreciated. In terms of what’s next, I know they’re going through a full assessment of him right now, the medical staff, along with Joel and his very good team of advisors. The next step will be determined from that.
CB: How much of that, if I can follow up, will be based on what he wants to do vs. the team recommendation?
Morey: Joel is one of the smartest players I’ve ever worked with. He likes to take lots of input from pretty much every top doctor in the country. Taking all that input, the best decision will be made at that point.
- When asked if Ben Simmons is more of a 4 than a 1, he said that’s a question for Doc Rivers. I’d personally say we’ve moved beyond this point, because you can’t have a power forward next to Joel Embiid who can’t shoot, and there are very few fours in the NBA that can’t stretch in 2021.
- More on George Hill/the bench: “Obviously it wasn’t enough so in terms of my own self-reflection in the front office, are there opportunities where we could have done more? I think that the answer to that is yes and that’s on me.”
- RE: not having a backup stretch big or another center option after Tony Bradley was traded: “nothing really presented itself to allow us to address what Doc was looking for.”
- On the regular season being “Fool’s Gold,” Morey said he agrees with Tobias Harris that playoff basketball is completely different, but thinks it gets somewhat overstated as a big picture topic.
- On Ben working with a different shooting coach or changing his mechanics, Morey says his understanding is that Ben is “all in on the organization.” Says Simmons has a good relationship with Doc and will do whatever is necessary to improve.
- He says Seth Curry is improving “before our eyes,” but in requiring a perimeter player to score beyond Harris and Embiid, he would “love to have All Stars at every position.” Can’t “overreact to what just happened, but we can’ underreact as well.“
- Howard Eskin got his big ego moment with a series of three questions about whether or not Morey would commit to Ben Simmons. Of course Morey dodged the questions, which was expected. He’s not going to come out and say “yes Ben Simmons is on the trade block.” But Howard got his big moment, so good for him.
Here’s the full audio:
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 22, 2021