Sixers Need To Do Whatever It Takes To Hire Daryl Morey
Now we’re cookin’ with gas.
Adam Aaronson, whose legal name is Sixers Adam (@SixersAdam on Twitter), covers the Sixers for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez. He has been legally banned from covering the team in person, and when that ban was set to be lifted, Covid-19 struck. He believes cantaloupe is the best food in existence, and is brought to you by the Official Realtor of The Process, Adam Ksebe.
On Thursday morning, news broke that longtime Houston Rockets GM and friend of the pod Daryl Morey was stepping down from his post after 13 years of running the show in Houston. Morey, who was briefly courted by the Sixers in 2018, has been an elite decision-maker for over a decade.
Reports indicate Morey may take some time off from basketball, but if he has any interest in taking over the Sixers, they should be prepared to drop everything and pursue him with every resource available.
As has become commonplace at the Ricky, it is imperative to remember that the single biggest issue that has led to the Sixers being in the mess they are in is incompetent management. This mess may be beyond repair, even for someone as adept as Morey. But there is at least some reason for confidence with him at the helm.
During the Sixers’ coaching search, the one quality I hoped they could find in their next leader was a willingness to innovate and be creative. Given the many predicaments that come with trying to right this ship, it is imperative that those in charge are willing to adopt unorthodox methods to find solutions.
If there was ever an unorthodox executive in the NBA, it’s Morey. Whether with roster construction (see the Rockets’ successful no-bigs experiment from last season), trade scenarios or salary cap machinations, Morey has shown the ability to find new avenues and blaze trails in several aspects of basketball operations. His kind of thinking and solution-finding is exactly the type of mindset the Sixers so desperately need right now.
Process, comfort being criticized
It’s bizarre that the Sixers, known for the word Process, have not embraced it in their decision-making in such a long time. It’s one thing for Morey to formulate what may be viewed as an outlandish idea, but his refusal to only go halfway-in on an idea to cater to common groupthink, is particularly valuable in a market like this. Every move made will inevitably be brutally critiqued.
Far too often since Sam Hinkie’s departure, the Sixers have shied away from decisions that would have been the right call, out of fear of public perception. Morey has faced just about every possible critic at this point, and has shown that none will scare him away from doing something he knows may draw their ire.
I saved this for last, but the first word that comes to all of our minds with Morey is “analytics.” He has been a pioneer of sorts in how advanced statistics should be applied when constructing an NBA roster and game-plan. There will always be those who clutch their pearls in fright and yell “WE NEED BASKETBALL PEOPLE!” But the reality is that across sports, all of the most well-run organizations are the ones who invest heavily in analytics. The math is the math for a reason, and having a front office who will continue to evolve with the numbers is imperative given the state of the game.
There have been some, frankly, bizarre claims made recently that the Sixers’ previous issue was too heavy of a reliance on analytics. While one of the leading voices in the front office, Alex Rucker, does have an extensive background in analytics, there are simply no advanced statistics that would have advised the Sixers to surround their star center and power forward with… another center and another power forward. Anyone who claims that analytics caused the downfall of the Sixers is either a Sixers employee trying to cover their ass or someone trying to score points against new-age thinking. Either way, it’s totally bogus.
The Sixers need more new-age thinkers, not less. Get Daryl Morey here and let him fix your problems.