With all the new voices, how exactly will Sixers front office work? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Now we wait. No, not for election results, but Sixers fans are awaiting the franchise's brass to return from the proverbial mountaintop with the “front office commandments.”
With Daryl Morey’s presence in Camden and his accompanying 16 years of front office experience, logic tells you that Sixers ownership would be foolish not to give Morey the lion's share of the say in decision-making about the roster.
If that’s not the case, what did you hire him for?
You don’t bring in an executive with his resume to be president of basketball operations and then acquiesce in some facets to Elton Brand, who is entering just his third year on the job. Brand has never truly had final say on personnel matters during his tenure with the organization as general manager. Instead, the 41-year-old played his role in the Sixers’ groupthink approach to decision-making, which failed.
I believe Brand is on the cusp of taking a gigantic back seat to Morey, who will now try to shape a roster that has not met its full potential.
There was no better evidence to reinforce the notion of Morey’s control and Brand’s repositioning than the way the assembled Sixers execs squirmed when directly asked about the organization's hierarchy in Morey’s inaugural press conference.
I felt like I was watching Neo dodge bullets in The Matrix the way they all looked at each other and deferred to a meeting that would happen over the coming days to iron out how the pecking order would be determined.
I maintain that either they already knew the general structure and didn’t want to tell us or they were actually unsure of how the sway and influence would be meted out in the decision-making process and didn’t want to seem disjointed.
What Sixers fans are looking for is reassurance. They want the confidence that what happened with the poor fit and beaucoup bucks given to free agents Al Horford and Tobias Harris won’t happen again. Morey’s experience provides a colossal buffer for the Sixers to avoid and reconfigure those types of missteps.
There are a lot of new voices, perspectives and philosophies in the Sixers organization, from Jameer Nelson as a scout and assistant GM of the Blue Coats to Sam Cassell as Doc Rivers’ top assistant.
The bevy of new people with fresh ideals gives me concern in the “too many cooks in the kitchen sort of way.” But, with Morey as the rudder to the Sixers’ ship, you’re almost guaranteeing more wins and a deeper playoff run because of his expertise and savvy in the front office.
Add in Rivers’ gameday execution and the Sixers are trending toward elite status and away from mediocrity.
One of the only odd things I’ve noticed in the Sixers offseason is that some of Morey’s staff, particularly executive VP of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie, were hired before he got the job. The timing of Morey’s availability after he parted ways with the Houston Rockets led to some of that juxtaposition, but still odd all the same.
Morey was relaxed and enthusiastic about what lies ahead for the Sixers, citing their two young stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as what attracted him to the job.
Now it’s the job of Brand and Sixers ownership to get out of the way and let Morey mend what could be a championship-caliber team come next year’s postseason.