NBA trade rumors: Sixers' Daryl Morey has 'giant plans' for offseason

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Morey has 'giant plans' to acquire a star: report originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Sixers have Joel Embiid, a two-time MVP runner-up. They also have James Harden, a former MVP.

And it sounds like Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey is still star-hunting.

After yet another second-round exit, Morey knows he needs to continue to improve this roster. Whether that's at the top with another star to form a proper Big Three, or further down the roster with quality depth along the wings and behind Joel Embiid, it's clear that more talent is needed.

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And apparently Morey has his sights set at the top of the depth chart - and the top of the league.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst, who has been particularly plugged-in to the Sixers' thinking during the Morey era (he was the primary voice on the Harden trade earlier this year, and proved to be exactly right), joined ESPN's #Greeny radio show on Monday with some pretty spicy trade rumor breadcrumbs.

Take it away, Windy:

"WINDHORST: I promise you that Daryl Morey has big, giant plans to acquire another star. Whether he's going to execute it, I don't know. But part of getting that done is to require Harden to take some sort of paycut.

"[...]

"GREENBERG: What are the names that we're going to be talking heavily about when we get to [free agency]?

"WINDHORST: Well, you're doing a very good job of asking a question that would potentially create news if I give you the honest answer, so I'm going to stop just short of that. Philly has dreams and plans, Daryl Morey does. 

"A key factor here is that they have Tobias Harris, who would have value in a possible trade. They have Tyrese Maxey, who would have value in a possible trade. And you would need a player, potentially near the end of his contract, to come and say, 'I would like to go and play in Philadelphia.' Is that something that could happen? Maybe. We'll see. I know Philly and Daryl are going to try and make it happen."

Hey so that sounds uhhhh pretty specific! Almost like Morey has one specific guy in mind and Windhorst knows who it is!

Okay then!

The obvious first name who comes to mind is Bradley Beal. The Sixers were hot after the Wizards guard ahead of the trade deadline before Beal suffered a wrist injury, and are reportedly still interested in him.

Beal has one year left on his contract, a $36 million player option for 2022-23. Will he opt-in? Will he wait until he can sign an extension? That remains to be seen. He'll be making decisions for his own good and his own future, and the Sixers will have to see what happens there. But I'm sure Beal and his camp would be aware that the Sixers are interested in bringing him to Philly.

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Obviously Sixers fans are going to hate the part where Windhorst mentions Maxey as a potential trade piece. The desire would be to unload Harris and other players - Matisse Thybulle is an ideal option, and Shake Milton is also fungible and cheap with a 2022-23 team option for roughly $2 million - without surrendering Maxey. Maxey is, of course, going to be highly sought-after by other teams. We'll see if Morey can hold on to his young breakout star, who is also cost-controlled for a little while longer.

The question this offseason of superstar talent vs. skilled depth will rage on between different camps of Sixers fans. I think either is a fine approach (superstars normally win in the playoffs, but quality depth is sorely lacking on this roster) but the Sixers absolutely need to attack one or the other.

Sounds like Morey has a plan ready to launch. We'll see.