Just days before the 2013 NBA Draft Nerlens Noel was still the presumptive No. 1 pick and Anthony Bennett was thought to be the guy falling down draft boards.
It was then that the brain trusts of Philadelphia and New Orleans came up with a trade that surprised a lot of people on draft night. It wasn’t all about Noel, explains Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com.
Three names supposedly would have supposedly gotten the deal done: Anthony Bennett, Victor Oladipo and Nerlens Noel. Bennett went first to the Cavaliers. Oladipo was selected second by Orlando, and fortunately for the Sixers, Noel was still on the board when the Pelicans picked at No. 6….
This gives insight into the workings of the draft and how deals get done on that night — it hardly happens in a five-minute window. Plans and contingency plans are mapped out in advance.
The trade was Noel and a future first-round pick to the Sixers for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday.
That Philly was open to three players who play very different roles on the court shows what the Sixers wanted — talent. Guys that could be part of the future down the road, not so much next season. With Noel it may work out — if his knee is right he could be the best player out of this draft in three or four years. Which is when it matters because that is when they should have built up talent around him.
Philadelphia is not tanking but they have certainly put themselves in the “Woeful for Wiggins” discussion, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s better than bringing Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and the rest of the gang back to win 41 games.
But it’s a different direction than the Pelicans have gone — Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis are all young and talented. A lot of things still need to come together, but that is a nice collection of talent and a team on the rise.