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Philadelphia 76ers

Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid 'absolutely can work together,' says 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey

A new era of basketball is being turned over in Philadelphia following a disappointing 2019-20 campaign that culminated with a first-round playoff elimination.

In what has been a busy offseason thus far, the 76ers have hired head coach Doc Rivers and president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, to five-year deals while also coming to a "multi-year" contract extension with general manager Elton Brand.

On Monday, Philadelphia officially introduced their new president of basketball operations via video conference.

In facing the biggest question of the team's offseason - what to do with their two All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid - Morey remained confident that the franchise's cornerstones can co-exist.

"I think they can absolutely work together," he told the media.

Morey is well-known for the 3-point gunning, small-ball style of basketball the Houston Rockets adopted in full toward the last few years of his 13-year tenure there. He made it clear on his first official day with the 76ers that his past doesn't put any sort of writing on the wall for top-tier big man Embiid.

MORE: What does Doc Rivers' hiring mean for Embiid and Simmons?

"Joel is a dominant, dominant big man," Morey stated. "I'm excited to get back to that. I worked with Yao Ming. We got very close in Houston with Yao Ming, and I think we can go all the way with Joel.

"... Joel's the kind of player you win championships with, if you look back through history."

And he doubled down on that with the masses assuming his style will strictly be 3-point-centric in Philadelphia the way it was in Houston.

"The goal is not to shoot 3-pointers, the goal is to win," he said. "You can score on offence in a bunch of different ways. Joel happens to be one of the most efficient post-up players in the league.

"I used to get the question in Houston of, 'What would you do if you had (Shaquille O'Neal)?' And my answer was, 'I would give Shaq the ball about a hundred times a game,' he continued. "We played the way we played in Houston because that was the best way to utilize the talents we had in Houston. Doc (Rivers) knows how to win more than me - he's at least one ring ahead of me - and so he's going to figure out how best to use (the players). It doesn't have to be a 3."

With that being said, he also left the window slightly open for Philly to field some offers this offseason, as any new president of basketball operations should do.

"I do think that we have a very, very good roster. Our championship team probably isn't going to have the same exact players that we have right now," Morey said.

"But I would say to have two star-plus players at 24 and 26 years old, that is why I couldn't get Doc Rivers to come interview in Houston. Because he saw (the 76ers) roster, and he said 'it's amazing.'"

With the NBA Draft and free agency looming, there are some big decisions to be made in Philadelphia before the 2020-21 season kicks off, whenever that may be.

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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