In what was the most shocking trade on draft night, the Philadelphia 76ers traded their young all-star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for 6th pick in the draft Nerlens Noel and a top-5 protected first round pick in the 2014 draft.
Initially, I was shocked that Philadelphia traded the only guy that kept them afloat in a season where Andrew Bynum did not play at all. I know how good Jrue was first hand because I drafted him pretty early in my fantasy basketball league last year and was able to track his progress. At the end of the day, while it’s clear that Philadelphia is throwing away next season, and maybe even the one after that while Nerlens and their 11th pick Michael Carter-Williams develop into solid NBA players, this might work out for them in the long-run.
Best case scenario for Philly:
They are so bad next year that they end up with a top 5 pick in the draft, potentially even the top pick depending on who sucks more, them or the Celtics. New Orleans is not bad enough to get a top 5 pick, but not good enough to make the playoffs, ending up in the lottery. In this case, Philadelphia might have two top-10 picks in a draft with many talented players to place alongside Noel, who is supposedly good enough to have been the first pick this year, Carter-Williams, a good passing PG out of Syracuse and Evan Turner.
Worst case scenario for Philly:
Noel can’t progress fast enough because of injury issues, they still don’t get a top-3 pick in next year’s draft and New Orleans is so bad they end up with a top-5 pick in the draft, a pick they’d get to keep.
All in all, Philadelphia has traded an all-star for an injured center for the second year in a row heading into another season filled with uncertainty and a lot of losses. New Orleans just got better and if Eric Gordon can stay healthy, they could be primed for a playoff push next season.
Barring any other signings by these 2 teams for now, these are my predictions for next season:
Philadelphia: 20-24 wins
New Orleans: 34-38 wins