Yeah the Athletic article is a post-mortem with more details in the wake of his absence.
Indeed, what are the alternatives, other than going back in time and keeping Butler, and/or moving on from Ben sooner? Or not trading Mikal Bridges. Or not drafting Fultz.
The Process era is already over (and was the minute they hired Hinkie anyway, even if Morey was also his mentor). This is the Morey/SuperTeam era, and I don't know that Harden is any better or worse a piece than any other available star/max salary player. Or that the Sixers could build around only one star (works for the Bucks, not so much the Nuggets or Blazers). They also likely can't win a championship with mostly young players before Joel starts to decline.