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5 takeaways from Daryl Morey’s post-trade deadline presser

Daryl Morey on Friday talked about Joel Embiid’s possible return, acquiring Buddy Hield and the two surprising trades he made.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Another trade deadline has come and gone, and this one was quite polarizing for the Philadelphia 76ers. The team acquired Buddy Hield from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Furkan Korkmaz, Marcus Morris Sr. and three second-round picks.

They dumped Danuel House Jr. for a second-round pick before making some shocking moves. They swung a deal for Cam Payne and a second-rounder for fan favorite Patrick Beverley. They also shipped out 21-year-old Jaden Springer to the Boston Celtics for a second-round pick.

Sixers president of basketball of operations Daryl Morey had the chance to explain the day when he talked to reporters before Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. He spent over 10 minutes talking to the media about the team’s moves and their future outlook. So here are some takeaways from the presser.

Joel Embiid’s injury wasn’t a huge factor

Morey was asked this question in a couple different ways, but his answer to it remained consistent. He was steadfast in saying that his goal was to add to this team where he thought he could without compromising his ability to improve the team in the future.

A lot of fans pondered that Embiid was done for the season given the nature of the Beverley and Springer trades, but Morey reiterated that wasn’t the case.

“[We’re] always planning for the future. If the hope wasn’t there for Joel, I think it would’ve changed things dramatically. We’re very hopeful,” he said.

Morey stayed away from giving any sort of timetable for Embiid, but did indicate he thinks the big fella will play again this season.

“I don’t wanna give it a scale. We’re hopeful,” he said. “Feedback has been more good than bad since the first we heard about what led to his procedure so we’re hopeful and we’re building the team to make it better this year.”

That’s not to say Embiid’s extended absence had no impact on what Morey wanted to do this week. Morey said he’s liked what he’s seen from Mo Bamba and Paul Reed this year, but also said he attempted to bolster up the center depth.

“Yeah, I think our priority was to get a big — which didn’t happen. But other than that, no. We wanted to add to our playoff rotation this year,” he said.

Sixers did not believe Jaden Springer could help them in short term

This deal was the most confusing to many. Not just because they were selling low on a 21-year-old, but selling low on one who had only just shown his first flashes of being a rotation player.

It is clear the Sixers’ front office felt differently.

“We had to look at, ‘What are the odds Jaden Springer — who I think has a great future — will help our playoff rotation in the one, two, three-year maybe horizon? And what are the odds that the second-round pick will help us?’ And we thought the second-round pick helped us more.”

Morey made a point of saying he still believes in him as an NBA player, just not soon enough to help Embiid win a championship.

“I think his timetable’s a little pushed out, though — (in) our evaluation. And if we’re wrong, we’re wrong,” he said, “Our evaluation was that his timetable to help a playoff team was further out than what the second-round pick could do for us.”

That is one thing the Celtics and Sixers disagree on, as Celtics GM Brad Stevens told reporters today he thinks Springer can help them in the playoffs this year.

Clarity on the Patrick Beverley situation

The Beverley trade might have been even more shocking. He was a veteran hardly making any money and was positively contributing to the team. Fans only got more upset when Beverley said on his podcast that Morey personally told him he wouldn’t be getting traded.

Morey said that what he told Beverley was basically true at the time.

“For sure, there were no plans at that point. It didn’t even seem on the radar, but we thought this was the best way to build a team.”

It certainly seems that Morey is anticipating adding another ball-handler in the buyout market, and that helped the team move on from Beverley.

“We saw his minutes going down and we thought it was best for him to be able be in a place where he was gonna play a bigger role on a team and, here, we saw that role diminishing.”

Morey does not care about doing business with rivals

Perhaps the most frustrating aspects of the Beverley and Springer trades were that both players were sent to teams the Sixers are and have been directly competing with to win the Eastern Conference. Beverley went to the Milwaukee Bucks while Springer was sent to the Boston Celtics.

Morey made it perfectly clear whether he has second thoughts or not doing deals with rivals.

“I don’t. I know maybe others do. I do think that comes into play when you’re talking about maybe your top few guys. I do think it matters then, but when you get a little further down the roster, I don’t think that should be a factor.”

Sending Springer to the Celtics certainly won’t have the same impact Jayson Tatum did, but it’s still a queasy feeling for many fans. The Bucks getting a “Pat Bev game” during their playoff run or Springer shutting down Maxey in a key spot in a series would only rub salt in the wound.

Believing Buddy Hield was the best player moved at the deadline

While the trade deadline might have ended in peculiar fashion for the Sixers, Thursday started off with excitement for fans when the team acquired Hield. The 31-year-old guard has been one of the best shooters in the NBA the past eight years.

In his debut Friday, he scored 20 points, but did struggle from the field, going 4-of-12 from deep. Still, his presence seemed to help the offense, despite the team still being decimated.

When Maxey returns to the lineup, Hield should be a huge help.

“They’re making it very challenging for Tyrese right now,” Morey said. “They’re making it very challenging on the rest of our team. That’s what they should do. Buddy Hield’s going to help during this period, but we weren’t as focused on this period. Obviously we need to win games and it’s going to be a battle, but we were focused on (when) the playoffs are here, we have a rotation we know can win at a super-high level.”

When/if the team is healthy, it’s easy to see why the Sixers acquired Hield.

“Look, with Joel and Tyrese, he puts the fear of God in other teams,” Morey said. “The shots are coming; they’re coming in transition, they’re coming deep, they’re coming off actions. You need to pay a lot of attention to Buddy Hield on the court … and that’s super valuable with Joel and Tyrese in opening up things up for them.”

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