After selecting Nerlens Noel at No. 6 overall in the 2013 NBA draft, the New Orleans Pelicans promptly traded the former Kentucky big man to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 10, at 3:21 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
CSN's Dei Lynam reports that this deal is official:
---End of update---
The Pelicans received All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday and the No. 42 overall pick in exchange for Noel, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. The 76ers also received a 2014 first-round pick:
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the 76ers were hoping Indiana Hoosiers star Cody Zeller would fall to them, but once the Charlotte Bobcats selected him, they went after Noel:
After trading for Andrew Bynum in August 2012, the 76ers watched their star big man never touch the floor in 2012-13 due to injury. Meanwhile, the center the 76ers traded to acquire Bynum, Nikola Vucevic, went on to average 13.1 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks while shooting 52 percent from the floor in just his second season in the league.
The 76ers are hoping Noel can make up for the loss of Bynum in the long-term. Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks as a freshman for Kentucky last season, but tore his ACL in February. Before his injury, many thought he would be the No. 1 overall pick this year.
As for the Pelicans, they were able to land an upper-echelon floor general, as well as an additional draft pick this year. Already boasting young power forward Anthony Davis, it's a smart move to add Holiday.
The 23-year-old point man averaged 17.7 points, 8.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals last season for Philly. Obviously, the Sixers had to give up something to make sure they got a big man with a lot of potential, but acquiring a future first-rounder from New Orleans sweetened the pot.
It's going to be interesting how this trade affects each team. The 76ers better hope Noel is the one, as parting with their best player is obviously a huge risk.