DRAFT’13: HANGOVER

In all your years of following the Sixers, have you ever seen anything quite like last night?  It’s safe to say that the Sam Hinkie era has started and that fans are in for the ride of their lives.

As a quick refresher, the  Sixers traded guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for center Nerlens Noel, who was selected with the No. 6 overall pick Thursday night.  Along with Noel, the Pelicans sent the Sixers a 2014 first-round pick, which is top-five protected.

In receiving Noel, all signs point to the Sixers parting ways with Andrew Bynum in the off-season.  The 2014 first-round pick is extremely valuable, considering next years draft is viewed by many to be one of the best drafts in decades.

Following the trade, the Sixers selected guard Michael Carter-Williams with pick No. 11, to replace Holiday.  Carter-Williams has the size of a shooting guard (6’5″) as a point guard, much like Jrue Holiday, but still has a lot of growing to do on the court.  He needs to build muscle and focus on his decision making in the off-season.

Late in the night there were also false reports that the Sixers had hired Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown as their head coach.  Lastly, the Sixers also made a couple second-round trades which set the team up with even more draft picks in 2014 and they drafted forward Arslan Kazemi of Oregon with the 54th pick while signing UFA forward Rodney Williams of Minnesota.

Needless to say this was an active draft and one that nobody who’s followed the Sixers in recent years has been used to seeing.  Now that the hangover has worn off, Philadunkia scribes Jeff McMenamin, Carey Smith and Steve Toll break down what this draft means for the future of the franchise.

Jeff McMenamin:

Everything I’ve come to know from the Sixers on draft day just changed forever. I’m still shell-shocked at what I witnessed, but when the smoke cleared I understood that what Hinkie did was the right move.

As great as Jrue Holiday was in a Sixers uniform last year and as much room as he had left to grow and lead this franchise, the most value the Sixers could’ve gotten for him happened to be last night.

For one they cleared $41 million dollars in cap room which they owed Holiday over the next four seasons. In return for Jrue, they also got a guy in Nerlens Noel who was thought by many to become the No. 1 pick in last night’s draft and who has plenty of room to grow as well (knee’s pending). A quality pick in next years highly talented draft is an added bonus and hopefully the pick will be between 6-10 in the lottery.

Philadelphia meet Tankadelphia. Lose as many games as you can and have a 25-percent shot at Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 draft. If it doesn’t work out, Hinkie has plenty of cap space to sign other proven assets to this team. I don’t have too much faith in Michael Carter-Williams as being the point guard for this team, but that’s good for a team looking to tank. Over/under the Sixers have an attendance of over 2,000 to games next season? In today’s NBA, unfortunately you have to become really bad first in order to win games in the future. It’s time for the Sixers to go out and fill the NOT Top 10 on SportsCenter next season.

Carey Smith: 

I am very impressed with the stones Hinkie showed last night in his first Draft at the helm of the Sixers. I will miss Jrue, but the trade for Noel gives us great cap flexibility and a two potential lottery picks in 2014. That’s how you build a potential title contender. I also really liked the MCW pick as he a very good PG who is a legit 6’5″. He’ll have to cut down on his turnovers to succeed in the NBA, but hopefully that is something that comes with maturity.

In all of the excitement of Hinkie-palooza, there was one small issue for me last night and a scary thought. My issue is that I would like to have seen the Sixers draft a shooting guard who can score somewhere along the line. They had second round chances at Crabbe, Franklin, Ledo, Rice, Jr. and others, but passed or selected them and traded the pick away.

My scary thought is, “What if Hinkie’s plan doesn’t work out?”

Steve Toll:

I’ve got alot to say about the draft, and I’ll start from the back.  Apparently, Hinkie secured a couple future 2nd round picks.  Those picks are little, but they are worth something.  Arsalan Kazemi will end up being a major steal, he is an NBA player.  MC-Williams is a better athlete than Evan Turner, but nowhere near the player he was in college.  I expect ET to run the show next year and MCW to play about 18 minutes a game at point and be very bad.

The trade of the night was obvious — Jrue for Noel and a top 5 protected lotto pick next season.
It only takes one idiot, and Hinkie (possibly) found his man in the GM from New Orleans.  I threw in (possibly) because there is a lot more to this trade than meets the eye, which I’ll get to later.  On a positive note, this could be the BEST TRADE IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA.  The 76ers could end up with Noel, Andrew Wiggins, and New Orleans pick, in what is considered a draft full of potential studs in 2014.

This was an interesting night for the 76ers and one that won’t be forgotten, one way or the other.

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