Sports

Sixers president Daryl Morey tried to recruit Steph Curry and then lied about it…poorly

Yes, Sixers President Daryl Morey tampered with Steph Curry.

Yes, Sixers President Daryl Morey tampered with Steph Curry.
Illustration: AP

Even with a banged-up Joel Embiid, the Sixers took care of Russ, Beal, and the Wizards in Game 5 of their first-round series. The team was looking forward to their first game against the Atlanta Hawks. Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey, however, was looking forward to the offseason.

To Morey’s credit, he has not taken those tweets down. They are still on his page for everyone to see. You gotta admire the cajones on Morey in this situation. His first tweet is so obviously Morey nudging Steph, tapping him on the shoulder and saying, “Hey, we’re contenders. You’re not. Come join your brother and let’s win some championships.”

I don’t care what his second tweet says. What does “Come join ‘em” have to do with being excited to have Seth Curry on your team? I’m struggling to see the connection there. You’d have to break out a whiteboard and some red yarn to convince me that wasn’t tampering. Now, the question is whether or not the NBA will take action against Morey.

The league doesn’t take too kindly to tampering or collusion — unless you’re LeBron James of course. Tampering ahead of the NBA offseason can lead to fines ranging between $50,000 and $1,000,000, as well as some draft picks being voided.

In the grand scheme of things though, a million dollars doesn’t seem like much for an NBA franchise. Even if the NBA hands out their harshest punishment for tampering, why would Morey care? His team is way past the point of getting incredible value with their draft picks. At this point, all his team needs is one more superstar to get Sixers over the top.

The 76ers ranked 14th in the league in 3-point percentage above-the-break (any 3-point shot NOT in the corners or low on the sideline) in 2021 — shooting just 36.1 percent from that zone. They know they’re not incredible at shooting from long distance, so they don’t do it. During the regular season, they attempted the least number of threes from that zone (21.7 shots per game). Obviously, a big part of this is the fact that Ben Simmons’ jump shot is about as consistent as a poorly blended fruit smoothie. And the team around Simmons isn’t exactly the best at creating shot opportunities around the perimeter. Steph would change all of that. The elder Curry shot 43.2 percent on 725 shots (more than anyone else in the NBA) in 202.

Yes, Steph is locked up through next season, but it’s not unthinkable that the Warriors would refuse to offer the 33-year-old elder Curry another supermax extension. If no deal can be reached and the Warriors fall out of playoff contention early in the season, it might be in the best interest of both Curry and the Warriors to ship the fan favorite in exchange for future draft capital.

The Sixers would obviously be very interested in acquiring the two-time MVP — any team would be, and the Sixers have more than enough to make a trade like that happen without having to give up any of their key pieces. Could you imagine pick-and-rolls being run between Steph and Embiid with the ball in Simmons’ hands? That’d be unfair. Not to mention, what better way to combat a Nets team with Irving, Harden, and KD than to grab the guy who has beaten all of them?

Morey might get into trouble with the NBA for what he posted yesterday, but the penalties that may ensue are far outweighed by the benefits of being the first team to express interest in Steph Curry. And what better way to express that interest than through family? I guarantee that if Steph Curry ever ends up on the 76ers, the first thing Morey will say is “Yeah, I knew what I was doing with those tweets.” And that shouldn’t shock anybody.

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