Continuing a season of major offseason moves, the 76ers will hire Daryl Morey as president of basketball operations, The Inquirer has confirmed.
According to sources, Morey met with the Sixers on Sunday and Monday. He could fly back to Philadelphia as early as Thursday and begin work on Friday after finalizing a five-year deal, according to sources.
In his new role, he would be the top decision-maker, while Elton Brand would remain as general manager. Brand has three years left on his contract, according to a source. Assistant GM Ned Cohen will also remain.
Alex Rucker, who was demoted from executive vice president for basketball operations, is expected to be let go. He will be with the Sixers through the transition, according to a source. The time frame could be three weeks, three months, or more.
With new coach Doc Rivers and Morey, the Sixers get experience and an upgrade. A league source said noted high-profile executives such as Morey and Toronto boss Masai Ujiri do not come available often, so managing partner Josh Harris scooped him up quickly the way he did with Rivers.
Morey resigned two weeks ago as general manager of the Houston Rockets. He had been the GM since May 2007, after serving as assistant general manager for more than a year.
The Inquirer reported last month that the Sixers were targeting Morey to join the front office. Morey, 48, is one of the true analytical experts in the NBA.
The Sixers also have hired Peter Dinwiddie as executive vice president of basketball operations and Prosper Karangwa as vice president of player personnel. Dinwiddie was senior vice president with the Indiana Pacers. Karangwa was the Orlando Magic’s director of scouting.
In addition, the Sixers hired Jameer Nelson as a scout and assistant general manager of the G League’s Delaware Blue Coats.
Morey has many decisions to make in a short time, with the NBA draft scheduled for Nov. 18. The Sixers have the No. 21 pick in the first round and four second-round selections.
Free agency is expected to begin shortly after the draft.
During Morey’s 13 years as general manager in Houston, the Rockets qualified for the playoffs 10 times. They have been playoff participants in each of the last eight seasons, the longest current NBA streak. The Rockets advanced as far as the Western Conference finals in 2015 and 2018.
Houston went 44-28 and lost in the Western Conference semifinals to eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers this season.
Morey became a center of controversy during the preseason when he tweeted in support of the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests. On Oct. 4, 2019, he tweeted: “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” in support of the territory’s pro-democracy protests.
The tweet was deleted, but it led to China pulling the NBA off its airwaves and suspending sponsorship agreements with the league. China returned to the airwaves for the first time during the NBA Finals.
During the All-Star break in February, commissioner Adam Silver said it was possible the NBA could lose as much as $400 million in revenue this year because of hits to the China market.