Just about an hour before the Sixers hosted the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, a WojBomb infiltrated the Twittersphere that announced Sam Hinkie had waived Kwame Brown and Darius Morris in favor of Elliot Williams and Lorenzo Brown.
The reasoning behind letting Kwame go is pretty clear, as Chris Vito kindly pointed out in the wake of the news. Some may have been a little surprised by the team letting go of Morris, however.
The former Laker had just dropped 20 points on 9 shots against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday with Michael Carter-Williams sidelined. But, when you consider how well Tony Wroten has been playing as of late, especially at point guard in MCW’s absence, the swap of Morris for two lower profile guards makes sense.
We’ll never forget Wroten’s first-career triple-double in his first-career start against the Houston Rockets last week. The junkyard dog’s 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds will forever cling to the dust coated on the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center. Then after MCW went down with a bum foot for the team’s three-game road trip, Wroten proceeded to average 20.0 points, 3.7 assists and 2.7 steals in 36.7 minutes per game, shooting 44.2 percent from the field.
Wroten also got to the line at a solid rate, as he averaged 7 free throw attempts per game during the trip.
Hinkie and the Sixers already picked up the option for Wroten’s $1.2 million third-year team-option, so they clearly view him as an integral piece in Brett Brown’s rebuilding project. Letting Morris walk—who had a non-guaranteed contract, according to Hoopsworld.com—doesn’t truly affect the team financially and also opens up some more playing time for Wroten to continue to develop even with Carter-Williams returning to action against the Raps.
Morris is solid backup point guard. In 12 games with the team, he boasted a roughly 3:2 assist to turnover ratio and shot 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. But where the Sixers currently are as a team and organization, that type of production isn’t truly of value when Morris isn’t the savvy veteran type that could mentor young guys like Carter-Williams and Wroten and that he’s more of a score-first point guard on a roster full of players who can’t create their own shot.
Letting Morris go ultimately frees up a lot more breathing room for Wroten to continue to improve in NBA game action, despite the Sixers bringing on two additional guards in Williams and Brown.
At the end of the day, Wroten has been many Sixers fans’ favorite player to watch during this young season, and now we’re going to have more opportunities to watch him grow.