The Philadelphia 76ers made a bold move in yesterday’s draft by trading their All Star point guard in Jrue Holiday for Kentucky Center and defensive stalwart Nerlens Noel. They also received a potential lottery pick in the stacked 2014 draft.
This is the start of a total rebuild for new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie. Holiday was the team’s best player and floor general, and the keys to the car will now go to new draft pick Michael Carter-Williams, a rookie who will have some growing pains.
The goal is clear for the Sixers. They want to start over and build as many assets as possible. Certainly, Hinkie has an eye on the 2014 draft which has the chance to be the strongest since the vaunted 2003 draft which included superstars Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade.
The move came with mixed results, but to the fans and draft pundits criticizing what were the Sixers going to win with Holiday? They were stuck in mediocrity, the worst place to be in the NBA and now have a chance to land a once in a generation talent in 2014 in Andrew Wiggins. This is how teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder built themselves by acquiring as many lottery picks as possible and eventually striking gold.
The Sixers will certainly struggle next year, potentially being the worst team in the league. They also have another potential lottery pick that they acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans. This puts the Sixers in a great position for Wiggins — by all accounts the next LeBron — and another blue chip player in a great draft.
Holiday will certainly shine with the Pelicans, but the Sixers are trying to build themselves into a contender for years to come. With Hinkie in charge and assets in hand, they are well on their way.