Daryl Morey Quickly Reshapes Sixers on Draft Day
With the 21st pick in the 2020 NBA Draft the Sixers added Kentucky combo guard Tyrese Maxey.
But the big news came before the draft even started, with Daryl Morey shipping high-priced big-man Al Horford to Oklahoma City with a lightly protected 2025 first-round pick, their 2020 second-round pick (34), and the rights to 2014 draft pick Viailije Micic to the Thunder in exchange for Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson.
The move gets the Sixers out from under Horford's monster deal, which had three more years remaining, in exchange for Green who has just one season left on his contract and creates an $8.6 million trade exception.
Morey wasn't done making moves, or shedding salary, sending Josh Richardson to Dallas along with pick No. 36 in exchange for Seth Curry. The move takes more money off the books, and adding Curry gives the Sixers one of the top 3-point shooters in the game. Curry shot a blistering 45% from beyond the arc in 24.6 minutes per game for the Mavericks.
"We're trying to improve the fit," Morey said during a zoom meeting with the media. " We went in with a goal of increasing our flexibility. The first move we did allowed the Curry move. Having that elite shooter really changes the dynamic for Ben and Joel."
As for Maxey, who spent one season at Kentucky, he gives the Sixers a guy who can score from just about anywhere on the floor. In 31 games for the Wildcats (28 starts), he averaged 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in a team-high 34.5 minutes per contest. When facing Top-25 foes, his numbers increased to 19.0 points per game.
"I bring a competitive nature," explained Maxey. "I feel like I bring a winning spirit, as far as playing competitive on the defensive end, and even on the offensive end, I feel like I can help run a team. I feel like I can score on and off the ball and be a great asset to the team."
One area he will need to grow his game is from behind the 3-point line, where he shot just 29%. However, he gives the Sixers something they have lacked, a guy who can great his one shot, and finish with both hands around the basket. He is also a good defender and energy guy, who should be a nice fit next to Ben Simmons.
"I like to be competitive on the defensive end," Maxey added.
The final two picks gave the Sixers a shooter in Isiah Joe from Arkansas and a athletic big man, Paul Reed from DePaul.
Joe spent two collegiate seasons at Arkansas, scoring 15.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 33.1 minutes per contest.
Last season, Joe led the SEC with 3.6 threes per game, finishing with the fourth-highest average in the nation. Joe set an NCAA freshman record with 113 three-pointers in his first season at Arkansas and was selected to the 2018-19 SEC All-Freshman Team.
Reed, appeared in 93 games (58 starts) over three seasons, posting 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per contest. As a junior, Reed averaged a double-double with 15.1 points and 10.7 rebounds, and tallied 142 career blocked shots as a collegian, third in DePaul school history.
The draft led to some new faces and shrewd moves from Morey. Now with free agency about to begin, you can expect the Sixers roster transformation to continue.
"They’re going to be some additions there,” Morey said of free agency.