Monday, June 27, 2022

Sixers plan blockbuster offseason move after postseason failure

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The Philadelphia Sixers suffered another playoff disappointment against the Miami Heat in the second round of the NBA playoffs, and general manager Daryl Morey will be busy adding to the roster this offseason.

The Sixers already have an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid and a former MVP in James Harden. However, it seems Morey is looking to land another star this offseason, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

The connected NBA insider believes the star-hungry GM will spring into action to make a splash.

“I promise you Daryl Morey has big plans to acquire another star,” Windhorst said on the #Greeny radio show. “I don’t know if he’ll execute it. But that includes demanding some kind of pay cut from Harden.”

Windhorst purposely didn’t name players who could pursue the Sixers, although one obvious name Morey and co. could keep an eye on is Wizards star Bradley Beal.

Beal has endured a disappointing year in which he played just 40 games for the Wizards and his points-per-game average fell to 23.2 this season from a whopping 31.3 in 2021. However, he’s only 28 and could be a key figure for a contender like the Sixers.

“Philly has dreams and plans,” Windhorst said. “A key factor here is that they have Tobias Harris who would have value in a potential trade. They have Tyrese Maxey who would have value in a potential trade. And you would need a player who might come close to the end of his contract and say, “I’d like to play in Philadelphia.” Is this something that could happen? Perhaps. We will see. I know Philly and Daryl will try to make it happen.”

Harden’s arrival in Philadelphia did not go as planned. He put up lackluster numbers for most of the postseason and then vanished in the Game 6 loss against the season-ending Heat. The one-time top scorer scored just 11 points in a 4-of-9 shootout in the playoff.

Despite that tough postseason exit, Harden reassured Sixers faithful that he would remain in Philly after the year was out.

“I’ll be here,” Harden said.

If he chooses not to, the Sixers could offer Harden a supermax expansion up to $250 million, although – as Windhorst mentioned – there’s a situation where he needs less to help the team build a masterful roster help. The former MVP was also asked about this route and was open to the idea.

“Whatever allows us to keep growing and getting better and doing the things necessary to win and compete at a high level,” he said.

If Harden is serious, the Sixers could make a move that will take them over the top. That would make head coach Doc Rivers happy, considering his surprising admission after losing to the Heat.

“At the end of that game, I came to the conclusion that we just weren’t good enough to beat Miami,” Rivers told reporters.

Beal, free agent Zach LaVine, or another superstar might be enough to propel Philly to the top.

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