We have our first trade of the 2013 draft, and it involves some fairly big names.
The New Orleans Pelicans selected Nerlens Noel with the sixth overall pick, but he won’t be playing alongside Anthony Davis on the front line next season. They picked him for the Philadelphia 76ers, who will send All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday back in return.
The Pelicans will also send a protected 2014 first round pick to Philadelphia, who will send the 42nd pick in this year’s draft to New Orleans, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The Sixers finished out of the playoffs in the East last season with a record of 34-48, so it looks like the team’s new general manager Sam Hinkie is preferring to start a rebuild from scratch instead of building on existing assets.
Andrew Bynum didn’t play at all for the Sixers last season, and is an unrestricted free agent this summer that Hinkie doesn’t seem all that interested in pursuing. A new GM just beginning the first year of his deal has a lot more leeway to make bold choices like this, so if he wasn’t that sold on Holiday’s fit with his future plans for the franchise, entering a full-fledged rebuild might have been the collectively agreed-upon decision.
From the Pelicans’ perspective, getting a 23-year old All-Star point guard to pair alongside Eric Gordon (if healthy) is a very nice piece. Holiday averaged 17.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 8.0 assists in 37.5 minutes per game last season — all career-highs.