James Harden's arrival to the Philadelphia 76ers is already showing its impact. In the 76ers' recent game, Joel Embiid tried to pull Harden's signature step-back move but it was given a travel call. Regardless of the outcome, it is quite obvious that the 76ers are happy to have The Beard onboard.
It might seem like a perfect situation for the 76ers now as they have also gotten rid of their unhappy star Ben Simmons. But behind all the happiness, the Sixers General Manager Daryl Morey spent a lot of sleepless nights pulling this trade.
Are you wondering what went behind the scenes for Morey to finally convince the Nets to trade Harden? Well, Morey himself revealed all the details in a recent interview with NBA analyst Colin Cowherd.
"So obviously we’re trying to keep Tyrese Maxey and (Matisse) Thybulle out of the deal and, obviously, my job is to keep track of the future. They ended up insisting on two first-round picks if we didn’t include them and they were pretty steadfast. At the end of the day, you have to either decide to make a deal or pass and we’ve passed many times so anyway, to get to the point of the story. We’re debating whether we give up two first-round picks, and I’ll rewind a couple of days and I was talking to a Western Conference team, who we liked a player on their team.
"We offered one first for that player, they said no, and I got a little bothered with the GM I’m like, ‘This guy’s never gonna give this player up.’ But I’m just gonna offer two firsts to see what happens and very quickly, he’s like no to two firsts. This is a player by the way that every every 2K player, Colin Cowherd, Nick Wright, every human on Earth would have said ‘Oh my God. You have to give that player up for two firsts.’ So I just did it just to like see and he said no, immediately."
Morey further added, "So fast forward to the final day. We’re debating two firsts and of our great front office people were like ‘Like three days ago, we couldn’t even get this player for two firsts. Why are we debating this? Why are we even talking about this? We can get James Harden! He’s a Hall of Fame player and we’re worried about a first in the future that’s protected.’ That’s the thing. I am very careful. I’ve never given up unprotected future firsts. I think that can hurt franchises, but protected firsts, so even if things fall apart in 2085 or whatever when we give it up, it won’t be a pick in the top of the draft."
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Morey is without a doubt one of the best GMs in the league and this story about how he acquired Harden proved it.
Even though a player like Harden was at stake, Daryl made sure to take every step with utmost caution and tried to think of the future of the team alongside making a great team for the present.
Now, will pairing up Joel Embiid with Harden work in favor of the team? We will soon find out.