Was it all just a dream? Did Sixers fans actually wake up this morning feeling good about their front office and draft picks? Is that possible? Or, is this more like the warm, fuzzy feeling you get right before dying from hypothermia and we’ve all actually been duped?
Well, only time will tell, but the new President of Basketball Operations for the Sixers, Daryl Morey, seems to have pulled the rabbit out of the hat. A true miracle worker. I’ll be grading every move he made last night in the 2020 draft as well as the more infamous trades he made to get some bad moving parts out of the city of Philadelphia.
Grading his drafting
When the dust settled, the Sixers only kept three of the players they actually drafted last night. In order
21st overall, Guard Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky)
The more Maxey fell, the more excited most Sixers fans got. It seems like everyone from John Calipari to Lebron James has something good to say about this young man.
@TyreseMaxey CONGRATS Lil bro!! Proud of you kid. The work continues! Philly got a good one for sure! 🙏🏾✊🏾👑
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 19, 2020
Of course LeBron will say that because they’re friends and work out together and of course John Calipari will say nice things because that was his coach and saying anything less will look bad on him, but damnit let me believe. Maxey is a quick, athletic, creative, bucket-getter that has been exactly what the Sixers have needed these last couple years. Potentially more importantly is that he is a very good on-ball defender and is a hard worker. He shot less than 30% from 3 last year in College, but that is something that can be fixed and I believe he has all the intangibles to be a good player in this league.
Most importantly, it seems like he has bought in to being on the Sixers as he was seen wearing a “Fall In Love With The Process” shirt this morning:
Tyrese Maxey wearing a “fall in love with the process” shirt this morning pic.twitter.com/VzAMSRAp90
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) November 19, 2020
He’s a good kid and this pick is a steal.
49th overall, Guard Isaiah Joe (Arkansas)
Arkansas proud! This is a player a lot of mock drafts did not predict would fall this far. Although he regressed in his sophomore year shooting 34.2% from 3 compared to his 41.4% from 3 in his freshman year, I believe he can maintain his shot at a decently high volume at the next level. His stroke looks fine and now it will be on the newly revamped Sixers coaching staff to develop confidence within him and turn him into an efficient 3 pointer. He is a good defender, but right now especially needs to work on his handles and becoming stronger because he is far, far from a beefcake.
58th Overall, Paul Reed PF (DePaul)
Reed is a crazy athletic defender whose versatility moved him back and forth from the four to the five at DePaul. The jury is still out on whether or not he can do that at the next level and although he needs to work on his offensive game, this is an exciting pick. Draft Expert Will Rucker had this to say:
Paul Reed was 34th on my board and we got him at 58. What a draft
— Will Rucker💤 (@Will_Rucker3_AD) November 19, 2020
This pick just seems like it is right up Daryl Morey’s alley and I am excited to see what role Paul Reed may take on the Sixers. He also looks like he was made to wear this hat:
Trading Al Horford for Danny Green
The whole trade reads like this: The Sixers are trading Al Horford, a 2025 protected first-round pick, 34th overall pick, draft rights to Serbian guard Vasilije Micic to the Thunder in exchange for Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson.
It is too bad that covid is still going on because if not, the streets of Philadelphia would be mobbed with people coming together to sing Kumbaya. The Al Horford era in Philly is over and a real-life NBA general manager (not named Elton Brand) wanted his contract.
Now, the Sixers did give up some lofty assets, but getting rid of Al’s contract was never going to be pretty. On paper and looking at it simplistically, of course the Sixers didn’t win this trade. Al Horford is a better player than Danny Green. However, Al was never going to work on the Sixers and the longer he would stay in Philadelphia the worse it would become. Signing him to a terrible contract in the first place and then expecting it could just be unloaded without doing any further damage would be naïve. Thankfully Daryl Morey worked his magic and the damage was minimal, at least in the short term.
Micic is actually a good player overseas, but who knows if he can cut it at the NBA level and who knows how good of a player they get with the 2025 first round protected. The Thunder got a young Frenchman by the name of Theo Maledon with te=he 34th pick. I love the Thunder’s rebuilding plan to grab every pick imaginable. It is rather strange in the year 2020 that the Sixers have now becoming a team desperate to unload terrible contracts and, in doing so, give up future assets. The exact opposite of that was Sam Hinkie’s bread-and-butter.
The Sixers got Danny Green who adds a much needed 3 pt. presence and an effective defensive one. Although he was streaky last year on the Lakers at 36.7% compared to nearly 46% two seasons ago on the Raptors, his playstyle (when effective) is exactly what the Sixers needed. Terreance Ferguson hasn’t met his high expectations, but he is still young and looking to grow so I’ll hold out hope that the Sixers can make something out of him.
As for Al, well his time in Philadelphia was a disaster. He will be a good, efficient player on the Thunder going forward, but he was just never a good long-term fit on the Sixers. I wish him well, but not before I made this masterpiece and posted on twitter:
My well thought-out farewell tribute to Al Horford. Be well my friend pic.twitter.com/pn1K9qBYm8
— Vote The Process (@VoteTheProcess) November 18, 2020
Grade on Paper: C
Grade giving the circumstance of his contract: A+++++++
Trading Josh Richardson
Per Woj, this trade was Dallas “acquiring Philadelphia’s Josh Richardson and No. 36 pick for Seth Curry.” Josh Richardson is a good player, but he didn’t fit into the Philadephia offense. A good defender, but he is not an efficient outside shooter at all and his, at times, impressive scoring at the rim didn’t make up for that. Every time Brett Brown tried to rebrand him as something he wasn’t, it didn’t work and just made everyone frustrated. He will do well in Dallas, but it was time for him to go. With the 36th pick, the Mavericks selected Tyler Bey, who many people are high on.
NOW, in exchange the Sixers got the sharpshooting Seth Curry. Curry has worked his ass off these past couple years to make a name for himself and grow out of his brother’s shadow. Much like Nate and Nick Diaz. A 44.3% from 3 in his career is good for 2nd all time among active players in the NBA and this man is exactly what the Sixers need. Ben Simmons had an incredibly high amount of assists last year for three point shots and he did it with no shooters. Imagine how this duo would work now!
Overall Grade: A-
Well done Morey! He cleaned up some of Elton’s mess and is clearly building a team around Ben and Joel that is designed to do one thing -shoot!