Despite another failed playoff run, the Philadelphia 76ers still believe they can make things work with their star duo. Speaking to the media after Thursday's elimination, Sixers President Daryl Morey spoke up about the future of his team and the faith he holds in James Harden.
Even with hate and criticism coming down hard on the former MVP, Morey says he'll give it at least another year before condemning the Harden experiment as a failure:
“That’s the plan is to have him back. That’s been the plan since the trade. Obviously, we have to work with his representation and that’ll be between us to figure out how that works."
“I think we all know he’s a very skilled player. We’ll figure out how to use him.”
“He’s an incredibly talented player just like Joel (Embiid), just like Tobias (Harris), and I’m excited for Doc (Rivers) and his staff to have a whole offseason, work with the players, and come up with the best plan for the roster we’ll have which we don’t know exactly as we just mentioned the bench and how that’s going to look. Which players on the roster we’re going to feel like the core going forward and which ones are the ones where maybe we can get an acquisition that might help. Once we have that in place, I’m excited for what the coaching staff can come up with it versus, obviously, because of our circumstances, you know, having it all come together in February, makes it very difficult to try and figure out how to unlock all the different skills of the players and how they can work together... we think with a full year with James (Harden), we can unlock what he brings to us."
After such a disappointing season, it's surprising to hear that so much will remain the same. Morey is not only keeping Harden and Embiid, but he's also keeping Doc Rivers, who many believed would be fired.
The hope is that, with some time, the Sixers can figure out a plan that maximizes the talent they have available. Still, many questions remain and there is no doubt that next season is going to have some huge implications for the long-term future of the franchise.