The Philadelphia Sixers suffered yet another playoff disappointment against the Miami Heat in the second round of the NBA playoffs and general manager Daryl Morey will be busy this offseason in an effort to bulk up the roster.
The Sixers already have an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid and a former MVP in James Harden. However, it appears that Morey has his sights set on landing another star this offseason, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
The plugged-in NBA insider thinks the star-hungry GM is going to be active in an effort to make a splash.
“I promise you that Daryl Morey has big, giant plans to acquire another star,” Windhorst said on the #Greeny radio show. “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.”
Bradley Beal Most Likely Name Sixers Could Pursue
Windhorst intentionally did not name players the Sixers could pursue, although an obvious name Morey and Co. could be eyeing is Wizards star Bradley Beal.
Beal is coming off a disappointing year where he played just 40 games for the Wizards and saw his points per game average drop from a whopping 31.3 in 2021 to 23.2 this season. However, he’s still just 28 years old and could be a key piece 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 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.”
Harden Open to Taking Less to Help Team Succeed
Harden’s arrival in Philadelphia has not gone as planned. He put up lackluster numbers for most of the postseason and then disappeared in the season-ending Game 6 loss to the Heat. The once-volume scorer recorded just 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting in the elimination game.
Despite that rough exit from the postseason, Harden assured the Sixers faithful that he was sticking around in Philly after the year ended.
“I’ll be here,” Harden said.
If he opts out, the Sixers could offer Harden a supermax extension up to $250 million, although there’s a situation — as Windhorst mentioned — where he takes less to help the team build a championship-caliber roster. The former MVP was also asked about that route and sounded open to the idea.
“Whatever allows us to continue to grow and get better and do the things necessary to win and compete at a high level,” he said.
If Harden is serious, the Sixers could make a move that puts them over the top. That would make head coach Doc Rivers happy, considering his startling admission after losing to the Heat.
“I came to the conclusion at the end of this game that we were just not good enough to beat Miami,” Rivers told reporters.
Beal, free agent Zach LaVine, or another superstar might be enough to put Philly over the top.