Daryl Morey Discusses Sixers’ 2024 Draft and Trade Plans

Daryl Morey on Sixers'

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey discusses the team’s strategy for the 2024 NBA Draft, including the possibility of trading their first-round pick for a veteran player.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Sixers are open to trading their first-round pick for immediate help.
  • Daryl Morey expresses excitement about the 16th pick but keeps all options open.
  • Potential challenges in acquiring a third star due to new CBA rules and limited tradable assets.

Sixers Consider Trading First-Round Pick for Immediate Help

The NBA had its yearly lottery, but it wasn’t a big deal for the Philadelphia 76ers this year. Even though they aren’t hoping for good lottery odds anymore, the Sixers have a pick near the end of this year’s draft.

Since the team aims to win a championship next season, it might trade its pick for a player who can help it win immediately.

Daryl Morey said last week that it’s rare for a rookie to make a big impact on a team that’s trying to win a title.

Immediate help probably never comes in the draft,” Morey said. “There’s really only something less than 10 but greater than five players picked in the range we’re picking in that are good in the first year. That said, we don’t really focus on the draft for help now.

In a move similar to one made two offseasons ago, the Sixers could package their top pick in a trade for a veteran player.

Back in 2021, they traded their first-round pick and Danny Green to the Memphis Grizzlies to acquire De’Anthony Melton.

Strategies for the 16th Pick: Trade, Retain, or Recruit

Despite the inclination towards a trade, Morey highlighted his enthusiasm for the 16th pick.

I do really love 16. The storylines have been that the draft is worse. I don’t see that at all. Actually, I’m very excited about who’s at 16,” he said.

That said, as you might expect, we have all options on the table: Trade into the future so that we can keep more picks available for future trades. If we do pick, I’m excited about who’s there. We could trade back, pick up a player. I do like having a good core of young players.

The Sixers have ample time before the late June draft to decide whether to keep their pick, trade it, or trade it back. This flexibility allows them to thoroughly evaluate their options and align their draft strategy with their championship aspirations.

Navigating Complexities in Pursuit of a Third Star

The Sixers face potential complications if they try to trade for a star this summer, mainly due to a lack of tradable players.

As reported by Liberty Ballers’ Paul Hudrick, Daryl Morey hinted at a big offseason move. With nearly $65 million in salary-cap space, the Sixers could sign a max free agent and still have significant cap space and exceptions left.

However, the market for stars is thin. If they decline their options, LeBron James and Paul George are top targets, with James Harden being another possibility, though a reunion seems unlikely.

Other potential targets, such as Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and DeMar DeRozan, have their own challenges. Siakam and Anunoby are likely to re-sign with their teams, and DeRozan’s style could clash with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.

Trading for a star under the new CBA rules also poses difficulties. Teams often want rotation players in return, not just draft picks and the Sixers’ limited roster under contract makes this tricky.

Aside from Joel Embiid, Paul Reed and Ricky Council IV are the only players under contract, and their trade value is limited.

Due to CBA restrictions, most other Sixers are set to become free agents, making sign-and-trade deals complex. This situation necessitates creative solutions, possibly involving three- or four-team trades.

Morey’s Strategy for Future Sixers Moves

Daryl Morey is known for his creativity in trade scenarios. He indicated a cautious approach, avoiding long-term commitments to merely “OK” players.

We want to open all the doors to make ourselves a contender, but we can’t close all the future doors unless we think the move we are doing can [make us] the best team in the East at least,” Morey said.

If the Sixers sign players to big-money, short-term deals, they could use them as salary-matching assets in future trades.

This approach mirrors what the Indiana Pacers did with Bruce Brown, flipping him for salary-matching purposes in a trade for Pascal Siakam.

The Sixers might find it easier to trade for a star mid-season next year when they’ll have more contracts and draft picks available. The goal is to avoid mistakes like the Tobias Harris contract, ensuring they remain flexible and capable of building around Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.