Daryl Morey addresses not going after backup center for Sixers at deadline
The Philadelphia 76ers made their move at the deadline when they acquired Jalen McDaniels from the Charlotte Hornets in order to add more depth at the wing spot off the bench. However, logic says that the Sixers should have gone after a backup big man.
Philadelphia did bring in another center when they signed Dewayne Dedmon off the buyout market, but Dedmon has yet to play. Therefore, the Sixers are continuing to rely on the likes of Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell to back up Joel Embiid and give the big fella some rest.
In terms of the backup center spot, team president Daryl Morey told Justin Grasso of All 76ers:
“I think it’s important,” Morey explained. “I mean, look, you ask the right question, which is like, on any given team, you know, there are 100 things that could be better. You could turn it over less, you could have better wing defense, you could be better at jump balls, your late clock offense could be better, and your ability to switch and generate turnovers. Like, you can come up with 100 things, right? But the key is prioritizing those that drive winning. And especially winning in the playoffs. You only have like a particular set of resources that you can array across everything. Long way of saying it’s important, but it’s less important than a lot of other things.”
In terms of prioritizing McDaniels at the deadline, Morey added:
“We felt like the most important thing was getting a two-way player who could give us defense,” Morey explained. “It was actually the same priority we had before the season. You can put it on me. Maybe not every player we brought in is giving us exactly what we owe for. So, we tried to address it at the deadline. We thought that was a bigger priority than the backup centers, where the price for those were going really, really high and didn’t seem to make a lot of sense relative to the folks that we could pick up.”
Time will tell whether the McDaniels addition will be helpful in the long run. When the playoffs roll around, the Sixers will have to figure out how to succeed with Embiid on the bench. In Saturday’s loss to the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia was a minus-11 in the eight minutes when Embiid was off the floor. That is a huge issue in a game that ended in a 3-point margin.
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