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Daryl Morey's Quest To Turn The Sixers Into His Old Rockets Teams Just Took Another Step Forward After Signing Montrezl Harrell

Bill Baptist. Getty Images.

You have to give Daryl Morey credit, he has a type. If you played even one second of your career for the Houston Rockets, he's going to bring you to Philly. Slowly but surely he has spent this offseason turning the 2022 Sixers into the 2015-18 Rockets. It started by bringing in Harden last year. Then this summer he gave PJ Tucker a 3/33M deal with a player option in Year 3 who was a Rocket from 2017-2021. He also signed Danuel House Jr who spent 4 seasons as a Rocket from 2018-2021. You may not have heard of Trevelin Queen, but he played all of last season (10 games) with the Houston Rockets. Now we have Harrell, who was a Rocket with Harden back from 2015-2017. 

On the surface, this is a no brainer addition for Morey. For years the Sixers have been trying to figure out the back up big spot behind Embiid. In recent years they've gone through Dwight, Andre Drummond and how Harrell. The biggest difference between Harrell and those other two guys is easily on the offensive end of the floor. Harrell is a regular season minutes eater and there's no denying he's a much better scorer than both Dwight and Andre Drummond

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He's a high energy player who you can utilize in P&R offensively (76th percentile/1.27 ppp/68% FG) which seems pretty valuable playing next to a P&R God in James Harden, and Harrell is great on the offensive glass as well. Harrell had the 2nd highest OREB% of his career last year while he was a Hornet (10.6%) and for a Sixers team that was 30th in the NBA in OREB last season, my guess is that's going to help quite a bit even if it's in a reserved role.

The one downside to the Montrezl Harrell experience is of course the defense, especially in the playoffs. He really, really struggles in terms of guarding in space, and as we've seen throughout the years once a team sees him on the floor they put him in endless P&Rs to the point where you almost can't play him. Nobody knows that more than Morey after watching how brutal Harrell was defensively in his Rockets days, but for the 2022 Sixers, that's whatever I would think. He's not there to defend, he's there to eat back up big minutes and provide a spark offensively. My guess is someone like PJ Tucker will get more of the playoff minutes playing next to Embiid, and considering Harrell's deal isn't anything crazy, that's a calculated risk you take.

Again, this is all about trying to find ways to survive the non-Embiid minutes. The second he steps off the floor, things get brutal real quick. In the regular season, look how the offense dipped

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In the playoffs, it was the same story

You may as well take a shot with an offensive minded big who can give you 10-15 points off the bench pretty easily. Now what Doc does in a playoff series is ultimately all that matters, because at that point if you can't get stops historically you don't really see the floor in the postseason.

Throw in other additions like De'Anthony Melton and Morey has injected better talent to a Sixers roster that is desperately trying to finally win more than 1 playoff round. Harden isn't getting any younger, Joel Embiid is right in the middle of his prime and isn't getting any younger, so Morey has made several "win now" additions that hope to get them over the hump. At the end of the day their success will ultimately come down to whether or not Embiid/Harden both show up throughout an entire playoff run, but at least they filled what was a fairly big hole within their roster with a guy you know can play in Harrell.