Daryl Morey: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, 76ers Underestimated as Title Contenders

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2020

FILE - This is a July 26, 2019, file photo showing Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey during an NBA basketball news conference in Houston. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is stepping down on his own accord, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, because the move hasn’t been announced. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Soon after Daryl Morey was officially announced as the Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Monday, he touched on the potential with his squad led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons:

Morey spent the previous 13 seasons as general manager of the Houston Rockets, leading the team to a playoff appearance in each of the last eight years. He stepped down from his position at the end of the 2019-20 campaign but quickly landed a new position with the 76ers.

While Morey helped create a small-ball philosophy in Houston, he is ready to build around Embiid in Philadelphia.

"Joel is a dominant, dominant big man. I'm excited to get back to that," he said Monday. "I think we can go all the way with Joel."

"Joel is the type of player you win a championship with, if you go back through NBA history," Morey added.

He also compared Embiid to Yao Ming, who starred for the Rockets when Morey first joined the organization in 2006.

Additionally, the idea of relying on three-pointers won't necessarily continue from his days in Houston.

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This could be valuable for Simmons, who has been criticized for his outside shooting with just two career made three-pointers.

"The best way to win in the NBA is to take your talent and how to utilize them the best," Morey said. "It's not to take your talent and hammer it in to a particular system. It's to try and get the most out of who you have."

The new president considers both Embiid and Simmons to be "star players" and is clearly excited about the opportunity with his new organization. 

"To have a chance to work with a legendary franchise and committed ownership, it's gonna be exciting here in Philadelphia," Morey told reporters"Ownership's committed to championships. ... The chance to work with Joel and Ben, and the roster that Elton had put together. This is a roster that has championship aspirations. ... You can't ask for anything more." 

Philadelphia will hope he can put together a good enough roster to bring home the franchise's first title since 1983.