Now that their season is over, we get to know more details about the Philadelphia 76ers and the chances they had -and missed- during the regular season. Doc Rivers’ team’s season finished in a bad way after they failed to beat the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the postseason.
Ben Simmons earned a lot of criticism for his shooting struggles during the series, prompting plenty of fans to remember that the team could have landed Kyle Lowry before the trade deadline. Recent reports break down what really happened at the Sixers’ headquarters when they had the chance to land Philly native Lowry.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Sixers’ president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, was focused on bigger names.
Front offices around the league had mixed opinions about Morey’s decision not to go all in on Kyle Lowry ahead of the deadline. Multiple executives said it was a missed chance to add a playmaker who fit what the Sixers needed. Others understood. Lowry is 35 and an upcoming free agent they could pursue in a sign-and-trade this offseason. Acquiring him wouldn’t have necessarily made the Sixers Finals favorites anyway. (Not when they have a coach who decides to play Simmons and Dwight Howard at the same time in a Game 7. Shaky coaching decisions will have Philly sports talk radio questioning Doc, too.)
Opinions differ on Philadelphia’s decision not to pursue Lowry harder, but there is a consensus around the league that Morey resisted because he’s angling for an even greater star. He’s thinking about stars like Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal becoming available. CJ McCollum or Zach LaVine could also appeal to Philadelphia if they are put on the table.
This is all a big ‘what if’ now. We won’t know how they would’ve fared if Lowry landed in Philly, and it’s hard to see any of Lillard and Beal leaving their teams to play in Philadelphia. Of course, anything can happen this offseason, but nothing is certain right now.
The Sixers have been linked to CJ McCollum, though, so that move could be likelier to the front office. Still, if they manage to get Dame or Beal, things would get a lot better for Joel Embiid, Doc Rivers, and co.