Daryl Morey and the Sixers have made their first splash in free agency signing Dwight Howard.

The signing came as quite a surprise especially considering Howard announced earlier that he would be staying in LA with the Lakers.

After winning an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers last season one would have thought that he would try to cash in. Instead, he chose to sign with another hopeful contender.

Howard instantly becomes the best backup Joel Embiid has ever had and keeps the paint locked down when Embiid needs a rest. It’s important to note that Howard also only signed for the veteran minimum.

The former Orlando Magic great has had an up and down career but managed to reinvent himself last season for the Lakers. Howard averaged over 70% from three (career-high) and over two blocks per game for the first time since 2012-13.

This marks the latest in a myriad of moves that Morey has made to transform the 76ers. The moves made by this new front office are beyond the best-case scenario.

It’s been no secret that Joel Embiid needs a competent backup and Dwight Howard will provide that and much more.

The Sixers’ two focal points going into the offseason were to add shooting and depth which they’ve done and then some. The additions of Howard, Danny Green, and Seth Curry will transform this team into a contender.

While no one of those players is good enough to do such a thing, the combination of those certain parts plus the addition by subtraction of Josh Richardson and Al Horford set this team up for success.

Not only adding Howard but only for the veteran minimum is an absolute steal that the team would not have been able to accomplish without Daryl Morey.

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

This article first appeared on Philly Sports Network and was syndicated with permission.

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