Many were hoping Sam Hinkie would come in and make a splash. Instead, the people got a cannon ball.
In what will go down as one of the craziest drafts of all time, and one of the most memorable moments in Sixers history, Hinkie made the gutsiest and smartest moves all at the same time.
The trade of Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans (as well as the 42nd overall pick) for the rights to Nerlens Noel and their 2014 1st round pick was met with a swarm of immediate knee jerk reactions. The initial thoughts were of shock and anger. Most of those feelings were courtesy of his former teammates.
OMG ....— Thad Young (@yungsmoove21) June 28, 2013
Wait, did Jrue get traded?— evan turner (@thekidet) June 28, 2013
After all, Holiday was the only bright spot in a season where the word "miserable" would be a massive understatement. Holiday gave fans hope that the team could build their core around him, and Jrue, as well as the team's future draft picks, could blossom together.
When everyone put down their paper bags and began breathing normally again, the trade seems to make sense.
Although Holiday was shipped down to the bayou, sent back to Philadelphia was a world of upside and potential. Noel won't be ready for game action until around Christmas, but in the 19 year-old is the possibility that he could be a defensive standout. He will need a great deal of work offensively, but Noel will be clog the paint for the Sixers for years to come.
However, the sweetest part of the deal was receiving New Orleans 1st round pick in what will be a loaded 2014 NBA Draft.
Sam Hinkie employed the theory that a middle of the road team needs to get worse before they can get much better. The Sixers probable failures in 2013 will set them up perfectly for 2014, and create their core through there.
To replace Holiday, Philadelphia elected to draft Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse University. MCW's height will be a great asset at the position, and he sees the floor incredibly well. If anything about his game needs work, it's definitely his ability to knock down the jumpshot.
In his press conference, Carter-Williams revealed that he and Noel have a prior history.
"Me and Nerlens are best friends. We played on the same AAU team together. It's a blessing we'll be on the same team."—MCW on #Sixers.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) June 28, 2013
The two will be primarily relied on to eventually lead the Sixers from mediocrity to success.
Try and keep up here: at 38, they selected Nate Wolters from South Dakota State. They then decided to trade him to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to guard Ricky Ledo from Providence, and a second round pick in 2014. Sixers then traded Ledo to the Dallas Mavericks for future considerations (likely another second round pick). My head hurts.
Philadelphia picked Arsalan Kazemi from Oregon at pick number 54. Kazemi is an interesting story, as he is the first Iranian to ever be drafted in the NBA. DraftExpress.com ranked him 46th overall on their top 100 prospects.
So the final damage: The Sixers acquire Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, Arsalan Kazemi, a 2014 1st round pick from New Orleans, a 2014 2nd round pick from Milwaukee and possibly one more from Dallas.
It's a brave new world out there, and it's Hinkie's for the taking.