The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey on a contract extension, the team announced Friday. The extension will keep the former 2017-2018 NBA Executive of the Year in Philadelphia through the 2027—2028 season.
ESPN’s top NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to break the news.
Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey has agreed on a contract extension through the 2027-2028 season, sources tell ESPN. The Sixers have a .653 winning percentage in his three seasons on the job. pic.twitter.com/UPNLmychPO— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2023
Managing partner Josh Harris released a statement on the extension:
“Daryl is one of the best front office executives in sports and I greatly value his leadership,” Josh Harris, 76ers Managing Partner, said. “I’m thrilled to have reached an agreement to extend his contract and look forward to working together to maximize our chances of competing for an NBA title.”
The team’s press release had a statement from Morey as well:
“I want to express my appreciation to Josh Harris and David Blitzer for their unwavering support and confidence. Together, we are committed to bringing a championship to Philadelphia,” said Morey. “I love this franchise and the relationship my family and I have built with our fans and this city. There’s no place I’d rather continue this journey than here.”
Morey had come under intense media fire as recently as this summer when former Sixer James Harden publicly called him a “liar.” But Morey has recovered well from the short-term blip on the radar of an executive-player relationship that had spanned nearly a decade.
By granting Harden not the contract, but the trade, he wanted to the L.A. Clippers, Morey has put these Sixers in a position to build around a duo of Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey (who Morey himself drafted No. 21 overall back in 2020), while replenishing the draft-coffers a bit.
The biggest moves that have now defined Morey’s Sixers tenure include drafting Maxey, trading Ben Simmons for Harden, and then trading away Harden to L.A. Firing Doc Rivers and replacing him with Nick Nurse was his first big coaching staff move, as well.
Fans should rejoice at this extension. For starters, it’s difficult to come up with five executives in the league with a better career resume than the long-time Rockets’ exec.
But better yet, inking Morey through the 2027-2028 season means he’s now on a deal that’s one year out from Joel Embiid’s last guaranteed salary season. This means that there will (finally) be some true continuity in the front office (for the first time since Josh Harris and co. purchased the team) that Joel can not only trust but collaborate with. The extension also runs alongside Nurse’s contract when he signed on to become head coach.
It also means that Morey’s own personal goals are now more closely aligned with the franchises’, including ownership, team and most importantly the fans. For example, if they had not extended him, it might have made sense for Morey to burn more draft capital hoping to save his own ass or wonder about offers from rival squads. Now instead, he can simply sit back and ask himself “what’s the best way for me to win a title led by a team featuring Embiid and Maxey over the next four seasons?” And that’s pretty much what fans should have wanted him to be thinking anyway.
One of the top GMs in the game is under contract for the foreseeable future, corresponding to a perennial MVP candidate’s prime.