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Morey: Sixers need high-level wing alongside Embiid, Maxey

Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball Daryl Morey said the team's biggest need is a top-tier wing to play alongside franchise cornerstones Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.

"The biggest need is not at their position - (it's) someone at the wing who can play and deliver at a high level in the playoffs," Morey said Monday, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "That's the biggest need."

The 7-seed Sixers were eliminated in six games by the No. 2 New York Knicks last Thursday. Philadelphia dropped from third in the standings after Embiid suffered a meniscus injury at the end of January.

Maxey, the league's Most Improved Player, broke out this campaign. He averaged 25.9 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in 70 games. Embiid only played in 39 contests but continued to put up big numbers, averaging 34.7 points, 11 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.6 blocks.

Philadelphia only has four contracts on the books for next season - Embiid, backup center Paul Reed, and reserve guards Jeff Dowtin and Ricky Council IV, with the latter three being on non-guaranteed deals. Maxey is a restricted free agent, meaning the franchise can match any deal he receives from other teams. The rest of the roster are unrestricted free agents.

The Sixers can create up to $65 million in cap space if they renounce the rights to all of their free agents except Maxey, waive the non-guaranteed contracts, and trade their first-round pick without taking back salary in the deal, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.

Philadelphia could target Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George in free agency, according to NBA insider Marc Stein. If the Sixers can't secure George's services, they could reunite with Miami Heat veteran Jimmy Butler, who helped lead Philly to the second round of the playoffs in 2019.

"I think we put ourselves in a good position most years to win, and I've just got to keep working hard to put us in an even better position," Morey said, per Pompey. "And we have an opportunity to do that this offseason."

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