It’s been a little over a week already; yet, I’m not quite sure if I have fully recovered from the blockbuster deal that sent Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for a draft pick and a bad ACL. The twenty-three year old All Star now finds a home on the court with the likes of Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, and Tyreke Evans, while Sixer fans are left with a hefty Thaddeus Young contract and nightmares of Michael Carter-Williams shooting a basketball.
The first argument in favor of the trade for Philadelphia is that the team needed size and ended up with who appeared be to the consensus number one overall pick prior to his injury. The problem? At least six teams passed on him, with two bigs selected directly prior. The current state of the draft with the numerous combines, work-outs, etc., give teams a very solid time to scout each prospect and it appeared as if Noel gave no reason for any bad team in the NBA to want him; yet, Sam Hinkie and the Sixers gave up their twenty-three year old All Star for him. A believer in long-shots could also look at the rest of the picks in-between Noel and Carter-Williams and tell you that no other front-court players were selected, meaning Noel could have fallen to 11 if picks 7 through 10 stayed true to their sought positions.
Another issue with bringing in Noel to Philadelphia is that every Sixer fan still has a bad taste in their mouth over the Andrew Bynum signing. It seems hard to believe that Hinkie was willing to come in and trade the team’s best player for a big with a bad knee directly after replacing a regime that sent away their former best player (Iguodala) for a big with a bad knee. Portland fans are laughing. I’m also not sure there is a brightside to the Michael Carter-Williams selection, as the team had one point guard (Holiday) prior to draft night, and still currently has one point guard. The team saw Nick Young and Dorell Wright bring the ball up the floor last season. Bringing in Carter-Williams with Holiday would have been perfect, and he would probably have been the pick for Philadelphia all along; however, still with no depth, the team swapped out point’s with a negative return.
The second go-to argument for the trade is that the team gained great value with the Pelican’s 2014 first round pick. There are, however, two direct issues with that. First, the pick is top five protected. The draft may be deep; but, promising yourself out of the top sixteen percent of it for a young All Star gets you no where. Second, and on the contrary, the Pelicans roster looks very nice on paper. They probably won’t make the playoffs; but, I could easily see them at the end of the lottery. This means that the Sixers are going to have to rely on their own selection in the 2014 draft to land a franchise-changing talent.
At least a season of tanking is a change of pace from their countless seasons of .500 ball. Grades: Holiday/Noel Trade: C+ (the "+" coming with the expected talent from the 2014 draft pick) Carter-Williams Selection: B- (Would have been nice to keep him on the bench for a season, or two) Free Agency: F (Pretty sure only Kwame Brown has been brought back, and I’ll make more games than Royce White will)