A little after 1 am a tired Sam Hinkie addressed the media. On the heels of the most active Sixers draft in recent memory Hinkie, because of league rules, was unable to answer most of the questions the media would have liked to ask him. But even though Hinkie was unable to address the many moves that shaped his first draft as the Sixers general manager, the moves simply spoke for themselves. Meet the new boss, nothing at all like the old boss.
Gone is the man that the old regime tried to paint as the face of the franchise, Jrue Holiday. Holliday was drafted 17th overall in the 2009 NBA draft and had blossomed into an All-Star point guard during his time in Philly. The Sixers rewarded Holliday with a four year $41 million dollar contract extension last November and it looked as if Holiday would be the piece the Sixers brass would build around. New GM Sam Hinkie made it clear that wont be happening.
Hinkie has reportedly shipped Holiday to New Orleans for the draft rights to Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel. Thought to be the possible #1 overall pick, Noel dropped in the draft because of injuries to 6th overall where the Pelicans scooped him up. Hinkie was able to work out a deal with the Pelicans for the draft rights to Noel, and a lottery protected first round draft choice in the 2014 NBA draft. With Holiday traded to New Orleans Hinkie addressed the vacant point guard position by drafting Syracuse sophomore Michael Williams Carter.
97.5 the Fanatic Sixers reporter Devon Givens reported that Holliday wasn’t the only Sixers regular that was shopped around during the draft. Givens stated that the Sixers were looking to move former 2nd overall pick Evan Turner so they could move back into the late first round and draft a shooting guard. The Sixers were unable to find a dance partner, and Turner remains on the team for now. After a few minor trades in the second round the Sixers drafted guard Nate Wolters and forward Arsalan Kazemi.
So the Sixers now welcome Nerlens Noel....kind of. Noel dropped in the draft because of a torn ACL injury he suffered back in February. Unlike the last Sixers big man who had knee injuries, this one will eventually make it onto the court. While a healthy Noel suiting up in a Sixers uniform is exciting, the first round pick the Sixers acquired could end up being the real get in the trade.
Next year’s draft is supposed to be the best draft since the 2003 draft that saw a kid named Lebron go first overall. Right now the name on every Sixers fans mind is that of Kansas bound freshman Andrew Wiggins. #WinlessForWiggins will be a popular hash tag on Twitter come the start of the season.
The fact that the Sixers were able to get Noel is great, but his injury could end up being a blessing in disguise as a healthy Noel could factor in victories for the Sixers, which would in turn result in less and less ping pong balls for the 2014 NBA draft.
The New Orleans pick they acquired is lottery protected however. If the pick ends up falling between picks 1-5 then the picks goes back to New Orleans, but as long the Pelicans don’t secure a top 5 pick, the Sixers will secure another first round pick in a very deep draft.
The news however didn’t end there. Reports surfaced this possible franchise defining night, the Sixers might have finally found a man to helm the ship. Brett Brown spent 7 years as an assistant in San Antonio under Greg Popovich, and it looked as though he would become the next head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, but during his press conference Hinkie denied those reports. It is worth noting that Brown recently interviewed with the Sixers however, and is still a candidate for the position.
So to recap; The Sixers have traded their All-Star point guard, Jrue Holiday. In doing so they freed up cap space, acquired an injured, yet very talented big man, and a possible 2014 first round draft choice. They tried to trade Evan Turner, to no avail and denied reports that they had hired a new coach. While the team is going to be bad, VERY bad next season, it could be for the best if they are bad enough to get a top 2 pick to take either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker.
There’s taking risks, there’s making moves, and then there’s the draft that Sam Hinkie just had. Very active and very bold.