Daryl Morey is notorious for hunting superstars. As general manager of the Houston Rockets, he acquired James Harden, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul in an attempt to stockpile enough talent to win the championship. He's since moved on to become president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, but his approach to roster-building hasn't changed.
He is, however, being punished for it. The NBA has fined Morey and the 76ers $75,000 each for tampering, the league announced on Monday. The fine is due to a tweet Morey sent on June 3 in regards to Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry. Curry's brother, Seth, plays for the 76ers and scored 30 points in a series-clinching Game 5 victory over the Washington Wizards that took place on June 2. The Golden State superstar posted on Instagram about his brother's performance, to which Morey gave a simple two-word response: "join 'em."
join 'em pic.twitter.com/ta2mxXO92O— Daryl MorΞy 🗽🏀 (@dmorey) June 3, 2021
Curry is currently slated to become a free agent after next season, but is widely expected to sign a contract extension with the Warriors before then. Even if he doesn't, Philadelphia has no easy method of creating max cap space with expensive deals for Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris on the books. Of course, that has never stopped Morey before. He famously acquired Paul without cap space in 2017 through an innovative circumvention of the cap in which Paul, rather than opting out of his contract and becoming a free agent, opted in and demanded a trade to Houston using the leverage of his possible free agency to force the Clippers to comply.
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The Curry brothers have technically played on the same team before, but not in regular season games. Seth was signed to a non-guaranteed contract by the Warriors in 2013 after he went undrafted and spent training camp and the preseason with them before getting waived. He later joined their G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, but his career truly blossomed once he left Golden State. He has since grown into a valuable starter, though never the superstar that his brother has become.
But if Curry were to become a free agent, reuniting with his brother would surely appeal to him on some level. Aside from the familial ties, Seth is one of the few shooters on Earth who could match Stephen's partnership with Klay Thompson. Philadelphia has around a year to maneuver to try to make that dream a reality. They just can't speak about it publicly.