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76ers were closer than it seemed to landing Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey

When the Philadelphia 76ers fell flat in their attempt to lure Daryl Morey from the Houston Rockets to fill their vacant general manager role, it seemed as though the team was turned away quickly.

Apparently, that wasn’t quite how the situation played out.

In a recent story from ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz, he detailed the talks between Morey and the Sixers, stating that discussions were “pretty far down the road” before things didn’t work out.

*This summer Brown oversaw basketball operations while ownership went in search of Colangelo’s replacement. The Sixers had initially gone big-game hunting, and a number of veteran general managers had reached out through intermediaries to inquire about what was now the most coveted executive opening in the NBA. Discussions with Rockets GM Daryl Morey were “pretty far down the road,” according to a source close to the process, but Morey elected to remain in Houston.*

Obviously, we know how things played out from there. And as Arnovitz revealed, the Sixers decided shortly after that maintaining continuity in the front office was key. And in his own words, head coach Brett Brown believed Elton Brand just made sense. In short, if he was going to be a general manager at some point, why not in Philly?

“When you live with these guys over three months, from draft and free agency, you appreciate what we already had,” Brown says. “Elton was always going to be a general manager at some point, in some city. And it might as well be here, and it might as well be now.”

Sixers fans had mixed reactions to Brand being hired, and while Morey is well respected and has done a great job with the Rockets, there’s something to be said about the final decision. Brand, who’s only 39, knows the team’s players, their process and the organization as a whole.

It may not be as high-profile of a hire as Morey would have been, but Brand still makes a lot of sense.

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