June 27, 2013
By Nick Tricome
So...that just happened.
While Cleveland picking UNLV's Anthony Bennett as the first overall pick was a surprise, nothing can compare to what the Sixers just pulled off.
Jrue Holiday, yes...Jrue Holiday, is New Orleans bound. The 76ers traded him to the Pelicans (formerly the Hornets) for the sixth overall pick in center Nerlens Noel from Kentucky.
The Sixers will also be getting New Orleans' first round pick in next year's draft, while also giving the Pelican's the 42nd overall pick in this year's draft.
And after all that, the Sixers still had their first round pick at their disposal. So, they used the 11th overall pick on point guard Michael Carter-Williams from Syracuse.
Feel free to take a minute or two to let that all sink in.
The Sixers came in to this draft needing a big man, but now it's pretty evident just how badly they wanted one.
They traded away a player who was their representative in the All-Star game this season, and one who they signed to a 4-year, $41 million extension back in November of 2012.
There were quite a few mock drafts that had Inidiana's power forward Cody Zeller landing with the Sixers, but he was taken fourth overall by the Charlotte Bobcats.
Then Maryland's Alex Len, another highly touted center, and Noel were taken by the Phoenix Suns (6th overall) and New Orleans (7th overall) respectively.
So, with the top three big men off the board, plan B kicked in and the Sixers traded for one.
The problem is that they traded for a seven foot, 219 pound center who is coming off an ACL tear from last season, and they traded away their best player to do it.
And, ironically enough, the Sixers did this having just gone through the disaster that was Andrew Bynum.
It's possible that everything will work out at the end of the day, but for now fans will have to sit stunned at the fact that GM Sam Hinkie hit the reset button without notice.
The Sixers have a new center and a new point guard, both of whom will be looked at this season to fill the void of an all-star that got shipped to New Orleans.
Plus, there still is that first round pick next year too.
(Image from RU-Crazy.com...what a fitting citation)