One of the NBA’s most well-known and analytically inclined general managers has reportedly decided to step down.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that Rockets GM Daryl Morey is leaving his position and that Houston will promote executive vice president of basketball operations Rafael Stone to GM.
The Rockets made the playoffs the last eight seasons, falling twice in the Western Conference Finals. Head coach Mike D’Antoni, whose contract expired after this season, chose not to return following his team’s second-round loss to the Lakers. He was, per multiple reports, a candidate for the Sixers’ head coaching position, which ultimately went to Doc Rivers.
Morey served as Houston’s GM since 2007, pushing a philosophy that emphasized the most efficient shots in the sport -- corner threes, layups and free throws. James Harden has been Houston’s biggest star, an ultra-high usage, historically excellent scorer, since Morey acquired him in a 2012 trade with the Thunder.
Morey is a good friend of former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie, who worked under him before moving to the Sixers and commencing The Process.
According to Wojnarowski, Morey was one of the established general managers the Sixers considered in 2018 before choosing Elton Brand, an internal candidate with minimal executive experience. The NBA’s Executive of the Year for the 2017-2018 season, Morey’s credentials certainly exceed Brand’s. Perhaps the Sixers will again have interest in bringing him to Philadelphia.
While speculation will swirl regarding Morey’s future, ESPN reported he "has become increasingly determined to explore what else might interest him professionally" outside of the NBA.
Meanwhile, Brand is beginning his second full offseason as the Sixers’ GM. It remains to be seen exactly how much change there will be in the Sixers’ front office, though Brand’s comments in August about “necessary” changes in the organization and “thorough” assessment of the front office still stand as relevant.
Rivers said at his introductory press conference that he’s excited about the prospect of working closely with Brand, though he has no official title other than head coach.