Philadelphia 76ers: Daryl Morey traded away a two-time EuroLeague MVP

(Photo by Filip Stevanovic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Photo by Filip Stevanovic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

When the 2021-22 NBA season opened up, the Philadephia 76ers didn’t have an MVP on their roster.

Fortunately, when the season came to an end, they did; unfortunately, that player was James Harden, not Joel Embiid, and he hasn’t been a legit contender for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy since 2020.

Now granted, the idea of adding James Freakin’ Harden to the Sixers’ roster is far from truly unfortunate, as even with his prime as the best pure scorer in the NBA is over, his ability to make plays for others and himself remains in a league with just Chris Paul. Still, with a need for additional pro-ready performers who can play meaningful minutes in the playoffs, it sure would be nice to have an additional performer of MVP caliber on their roster this fall.

Fortunately, the Sixers did add another MVP in Trevelin Queen, who is the reigning G-League MVP, but they could have had two, as Sam Hinkie drafted eventual EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micić with the 52nd overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft only for his eventual predecessor/original mentor, Daryl Morey, to trade him away in 2020 as part of the Al Horford-Danny Green trade with the OKC Thunder.

A Philadelphia 76ers draftee may finally be coming stateside this fall.

Vasilije Micić is a big, schematically versatile point guard built for the modern game. A sort of Miloš Teodosić for the Instagram era, he can shoot from 3 at an average clip, run an offense with the ball in his hands, and throw the sort of streetball passes that would make everyone from Patrick Mahomes to Rafer “Skip to my Lou” Alston proud.

Though he likely won’t average 30 minutes per game in the NBA ranks, score upper double-digit points, or make an All-Defensive team, Micić is the sort of off-the-bench passing guard who will earn a long and fruitful career at the NBA level if he isn’t wooed back to Europe to play for Anadolu Efes or Real Madrid.

Why? Simple; every team in the NBA needs another veteran point guard who can run the show like a pro, play alongside guards short and tall, and immediately make an impact right out of the gate without the typical holdups of being a rookie selected in the back end of the second round almost one decade ago. If some team gets into contact with Micić’s people and they can come to a financial agreement to bring him stateside, a simple call to Sam Presti could be the key to adding a two-time EuroLeague MVP to a contender’s roster – especially teams like the Denver Nuggets or the Atlanta Hawks who employ Serbian-speaking players like Nikola Jokic and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Could the Philadelphia 76ers be one of those teams? Sure, they could always use another guard, especially one who can pass the ball to Tyrese Maxey and James Harden instead of the other way around, but when you consider Daryl Morey already had Micić’s contract on the books and opted to trade it away instead of, say, another second-round pick, the prospects of his rights being re-acquired feels rather unlikely, even if his game has stepped up a good bit since that storied day back in November.

Still, when you watch Micić’s official highlights via EuroLeague, it’s hard not to let the mind wander and ifs to be what-ed.

The last player the Sixers signed away from Anadolu Efes worked out pretty well; why not shoot for the two-peat?

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If the Philadelphia 76ers want to add another guard this fall, they have options. They could trade for Patrick Beverly, attempt to hide Cassius Winston in Delaware, or simply hope that the combination of Shake Milton and Trevelin Queen is good enough to be the fourth guard on a team with NBA Finals ambitions. Still, if Daryl Morey is feeling a little buyer’s remorse and wants to procure another international performer with MVP pedigree, I’m sure Sam Presti would be willing to listen to offers and amass even more assets off of a player he never intended to roster in the first place.