Daryl Morey Has Strong Words For New Sixer Jalen McDaniels

Jalen McDaniels

Getty Jalen McDaniels formerly of the Charlotte Hornets

The Philadelphia 76ers were active at the NBA Trade Deadline. Trading Matisse Thybulle for Jalen McDaniels helped the Sixers duck under the tax, but President of Basketball of Operations Daryl Morey vocalized his confidence in McDaniels’ game, believing the opportunity could bring out the best in him.

“We really think Jalen’s sort of a hidden gem,” Morey told reporters, per Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Sometimes when teams struggle that much, there are players who really just need an opportunity to show what they can do on a better team. We feel like Jalen’s a player like that. Obviously, we’ll see how he plays down the stretch going into the playoffs.”

Morey also delved into what McDaniels can bring on both sides of the floor to the Sixers.

“I think he’s what every team is looking for —especially with the offensive firepower we have — as a long, athletic defender,” Morey said. “We felt like we needed defense. He’s gritty, can run the floor in transition.

“And then offensively — I know Doc was just talking to him — the game will be a lot easier for him. A lot of his shots were very difficult playing with (Charlotte). And with Joel (Embiid) and James (Harden) both bringing attention and great passing, the offensive side will be a lot easier for him.”

McDaniels’ career averages are 7.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from three. McDaniels was available for the Sixers’ game against the New York Knicks on February 10, but he did not play.

Morey Explains Difference Between Thybulle and McDaniels

While talking with reporters, Morey explained the key difference between Thybulle and McDaniels, particularly in a postseason environment.

“It was a little bit easier to keep (McDaniels) on the floor if that makes sense,” Morey said.

Morey then delved into the team’s past issues offensively with Thybulle.

“I think the constraints,” he said. “I think it’s pretty straightforward. If you’re making it harder for the team on offense, I think it makes it harder to keep you on the floor defensively.

Thybulle has developed a reputation for being one of the league’s better perimeter defenders, but his issues offensively, particularly shooting from three, have been an issue, as he’s shot 30.8 percent from three overall throughout his playoff career.

While Thybulle’s offensive limitations hurt the Sixers in the past, he at least has playoff experience, which is something McDaniels does not have. Although that will likely change when this season’s over.

Morey’s Thoughts on Buyout Market

With the NBA Trade Deadline passed, the Sixers can now turn to the buyout market. Morey said that, even though the Sixers have one open roster spot, they could add multiple players who are bought out.

“Some of that flexibility that we’ve got allows us to add multiple buyouts if they come,” he said. “We’re actively looking at that. Nothing to announce yet, but we’re actively looking at several players right now.

The Sixers could potentially look to the buyout market to address some of their roster needs, like backup center, or could vie for the very best players available to help them on their playoff run this season.