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76ers' Daryl Morey to Build Around Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey

Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey plans to retool the Sixers' roster this offseason and build around stars Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, according to multiple sources.

Kelly Oubre Jr., Kyle Lowry, and Nic Batum all finished the season with expired contracts. Morey has roughly $65 million in cap space, a first-round draft pick, and a large contract to offer Maxey this summer.

“We're not going to continue,” Morey said Monday at the 76's headquarters. “We will have continuity with our stars and our coach, but we will have many changes this season.”

The Sixers' first-round exit against the New York Knicks made it 41 years since the last NBA championship. Philadelphia has not advanced past the second round of the playoffs since 2001.

“We're focused on Joel and Tyrese, and we're focused on it now,” Morey said.

According to reports, the 76ers plan to add a veteran star this summer to complement Embiid and Maxey. Players in question include Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler, Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George, and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

James and George will have to decline player options to hit the market. However, other notable options suggested by NBA insiders include Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam and Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan.

Sixers coach Nick Nurse coached Siakam and DeRozan with the Toronto Raptors. Both players are free agents and could help improve Philadelphia's frontcourt.

“You have to consider age,” Morey said. “We feel like we are in the window where we have to win now. We are very focused on getting quality players like Joel and Tyrese.”

Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey is OK with Joel Embiid playing for Team USA in the 2024 Summer Olympics

Joel Embiid will turn 31 in his ninth NBA season, and everyone expects the seven-time All-Star center to miss a lot of games again. He never played more than 68 games in a season.

“I feel like I could have done a better job with the players so that we could be in a better position to win without him,” said Morey. “Having said that, we spend 90 percent of our time looking at how we can win the title with him. It won't be much of a focus, how we play without him.

“We know that the team cannot win the title. Indeed, how do we best deal with it? I felt that, for me, the depth was gone when we wanted to win at the level we wanted to win.”

Unfortunately for Sixers fans, Embiid is aiming to play for USA Basketball in the Paris Olympics. Fans were hoping to see him rest this summer after undergoing meniscus surgery on his left knee. That doesn't happen.

“It is his dream to represent America in the Olympics,” said Morey. “I think it's important to support the dreams of your best player.”

Embiid is the only MVP in NBA history to never play in a conference finals series.

In the 2024 NBA draft, the 76ers held the 16th overall pick in the first round and the 41st pick in the second. Still, Morey seems more focused on acquiring another draft pick in an upcoming trade.

“We're not really focusing on the draft to get help right now,” Morey said. “I really like the 16-year-old. The problem is that the frame is very bad. I don't see that at all. I'm so excited about who's 16. That said, as you might expect, we have all options on the table. Futures trading to keep more options available for futures trading. “

In addition, Maxey's big contract is very important this offseason. The fourth-year guard earned his first All-Star selection and won the 2023-24 NBA Most Improved Player Award. In 70 games (all starts), he averaged a career high of 25.9 points, 6.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 37.5 minutes per contest.

“We all have to learn not to bet on Tyrese,” Morey said.

Of course, Maxey enters the offseason as a restricted free agent. The 76ers will be able to match any extended offer for the breakout star. He is eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million contract.

“This offseason is huge. I owe it to the fans, to the ownership, to everybody, to put this team in a position where we are competing for titles. Obviously we didn't get it this year,” added Morey.

When will the 76ers win a title this century? Next year will be another make-or-break season for Morey.

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