Pressure time may seem to be finally on the side of Daryl Morey.
In his appearance on the latest HoopsHype podcast, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer had a talk with Michael Scotto as they tackled the potential future of Morey in Philadelphia in the wake of the team’s complicated summer. The Sixers beat reporter went on to note that “all eyes are monitoring” the executive as Philly is yet to take greater postseason achievements under his watch.
Pompey also claimed that there could be a chance that Morey may head to the exits should the 76ers sustain its underperformance in contention.
“The problem that Morey faces is before you had Doc Rivers, who you could blame, you could blame ‘The Process,’ you could blame other people. Right now, all eyes are on Morey. He came here to bring James Harden. He’s also one of the most recognizable front-office executives in pro sports. The fact that he took over a Sixers team, and if they don’t get out of the second round, he’s going to take the blame and the brunt of it. He could be the guy that goes.
“It’s one of those things where they blamed it on the coaching. People felt like the Sixers were a couple of adjustments away from getting out of the second round. Of course, everyone is going to look at the Harden situation. Morey is making a lot of money, and when he came in here, the Sixers were supposed to ascend. When Brett Brown was the coach, it was the second round. When Elton Brand was leading the front office, it was the second round. Now, you’ve got Morey and three max players or close to it in Harden, Embiid, and Tobias Harris, and it’s been three seasons in a row that they ended their season in the second round. I think Morey could be in trouble if they don’t get out of the second round.”
Morey took over as the chief basketball executive of the Sixers in 2020, and indeed the club hasn’t made a strong playoff push yet that surpasses a Conference Semis mark.
But it can be noted that he shouldered all of the complex roster situations in Philly and has been nothing but impressive so far in his job. If anything, he deserves major props from the Sixers fans for being able to flip Ben Simmons for James Harden last season while also being able to land a talented guard like Tyrese Maxey at the No. 21 pick of the 2020 Draft.
While Morey deserves a fair share of criticism for the lack of impactful free agency moves this offseason and for destroying his partnership bond with Harden, it’s just been unfortunate that he’s been facing this shaky situation as a result of the team’s failure to step up when the opportunity to advance as deep as the Conference Finals were there in the last three seasons.
At the end of the day and regardless of the ongoing uncertainty and drama, Morey has to assume that bold responsibility to ensure that the 76ers will be able to get over the hump and deliver important transactions to maximize their competitive window with reigning league MVP Joel Embiid.