Sixers’ boss figures out $363m headache

The Philadelphia 76ers have failed to cash in on their superstar duo after enduring years of trusting the process at the bottom of the league.

Multiple seasons saw the 76ers finish last or second last in the Eastern Conference to build up the picks which saw them secure the likes of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

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But even with two All-Stars on the roster, they’ve failed to capitalise when it counts in the playoffs, winning only two series over the past three seasons and being swept out of the first round this season by the Boston Celtics.

The team made key moves once their season came to an end by getting rid of Brett Brown and bringing in Doc Rivers. But it was the hiring of former Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey that spiked interests.

Morey has never been afraid of making league-shaping moves and on Thursday during the NBA Draft he pulled off major trades that set the 76ers up for a big push in the 2020/21 season.

Al Horford (left) is no longer in Philly.Source:AFP

Rumours had swirled in the lead up to the Draft that Simmons could be packaged in a trade with the 76ers reportedly attempting to lure James Harden.

Simmons’ five-year contract extension kicks in this season which sees him owed $A233m with Embiid having three-years and $A130m remaining.

The problem however for the Sixers was bloated salaries and a poor mix of players on the roster. Morey took care of that Thursday.

Big man Al Horford and his absurd $A149m salary was sent out the door to Oklahoma with the 76ers receiving wing players Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson in return.

Next came the move to send the underperforming Josh Richardson to Dallas in exchange for sharpshooter Seth Curry.

The moves open the floor up for Simmons and Embiid to work in the paint by surrounding them with quality shooters from beyond the arc.

After years of pain, things are looking up.Source:AFP

The moves drew widespread praise and that was before the 76ers went into the Draft and secured promising prospects in Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe and Paul Reed.

Morey knew the team needed to get better fits around the two stars and that meant landing stars who could light it up from deep.

“When Joel and Ben have had that, it’s actually insane how good those line-ups and how good those teams played,” Morey said.

“That was the theme for tonight. Getting Seth, you can argue he’s the best shooter in the NBA.

“Having a truly gravity elite shooter really changes the dynamic for Ben and Joel. Those who watched the Sixers up close and personally, like you [more] than me, know that when Joel and Ben have had that, it’s actually insane how good those line-ups and teammates played when everyone was happy.”

The 2020-21 NBA season will officially get underway on December 23.

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