Influx of shooting in Philly: Seth Curry and Danny Green join 76ers
Change to the Philadelphia 76ers roster was surely expected after the team’s disappointing run last season. A shake up to the roster became even more likely after the hirings of new head coach Doc Rivers and new president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.
Al Horford and Josh Richardson, both of whom were acquired in trades just last off-season, are no longer with the organization. Al Horford was flipped to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for guards Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson. In addition to Horford, OKC will receive the 34th pick in 2020’s NBA draft, a lightly protected first round pick in 2025, and the rights to Serbian guard Vasilige Micic. As icing on the cake for this trade, the Sixers will save a tremendous amount of money with Horfords’ massive contract off the books. Meanwhile, Josh Richardson and the 36th pick in the 2020 NBA draft were dealt to the Dallas Mavericks for guard Seth Curry, who just so happens to be Doc Rivers’ son-in-law.
While neither trade is a huge game-changer, I see both transactions as minor victories for the Sixers moving forward. The trades point to Philadelphia’s upper management having a clear idea of the identity they want for this team, and then displaying the willingness to execute trades that help render that identity a reality. Daryl Morey is an advanced analytics darling, and as a result has a deep affinity for spacing the floor at all times. When Al Horford and Joel Embiid shared the floor last year, they both largely operated out of the post and this often led to congestion for the offense. With Horford gone, Embiid can remain in the paint where he is most effective. And when Embiid is off the floor, Simmons can serve as a lethal passing post presence with his ability to find shooters at every angle around him.
One of these shooters will be new recruit Danny Green. He may be one of the newest members of the Sixers, but make no mistake, Danny Green is a veteran through and through. The 33 year old guard has started for three different teams and managed to win a chip at each destination. He’s far from a superstar and in the twilight years of his career but he can still provides two skills the Sixers are lacking: shooting and defense. Green is a 3 and D player through and through who will often be tasked with challenging perimeter assignments.
The Sixers other acquisition at the guard position is younger and flashier in Seth Curry. While the younger Curry is understandably overshadowed by the Warriors’ Steph Curry, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Seth is a dangerous offensive player who really came alive for the Dallas Mavericks in last years’ playoffs. He ranks only behind Steve Kerr in all-time three-point shooting percentage and is coming off his best shooting season yet, having hit 45.2% of his long range attempts last year.
So to sum up, the Sixers moved on from Horford and Richardson, both woefully unproductive players last year, and brought in more shooting on the perimeter in Seth Curry and Danny Green. They did all this while managing to save money in the process. The team may continue to go through alterations before the NBA’s restart, but fans have to like what they’re seeing so far.