Jrue Holiday is no longer a Sixer.
Although fans have had ample time to digest the news, it is still difficult to fully come to terms with it.
Giving up on an All-Star who is only 23-years of age rarely happens in any sport. Certainly, losing a star player is never an easy thing to rebound from.
As a result of shipping away a young-yet-mature player in Holiday who has not even reached the prime of his career, the Sixers will, in time, regret the decision they have made.
Why would a team part with a player who has proven that he is capable of being a franchise cornerstone for years to come?
Holiday gave fans something to smile about last season, breaking out with a career-best 17.7 points per game. What makes the deal even more perplexing is that Holiday is only 23 years old and he will only continue to grow into one of the league’s premier point guards.
Without Holiday's playmaking abilities, opportunities on the offensive end will be at a minimum. Last season, the Sixers averaged 18.0 assists per 100 possessions with Holiday on the floor. However, when Holiday was on the bench, Philadelphia averaged less than six assists per 100 possessions.
Although the Sixers averaged only 93.2 points per game last season, Holiday made things happen on offense, tallying an impressive 8.0 assists per game.
Sure, things didn't go as planned for Philadelphia last season. Nevertheless, why tear apart a core that was not even at full strength?
Now, we’ll never get to find out.
After the team traded Andre Iguodala, it appeared as if the keys to the franchise would rest in the hands of Holiday and Turner. What was developing into a formidable backcourt for the Sixers to build around is nothing more than an uncertainty now.
The future was already in place with Holiday and Turner leading the way. It was simply too early to tear apart what was being built.
To trade away a budding young talent on the cusp of superstardom in attempts to start from scratch is ridiculous.
Although the Sixers are bringing in two promising prospects, we really don’t know what Noel and Michael Carter-Williams will do at the NBA level.
Without a doubt, Noel has the intelligence and physical gifts to become one of the premier defenders in the league. However, it will take time for him to get acclimated to the rigors that come with playing the center position in the NBA.
Carter-Williams showed at Syracuse that he is a capable floor general, dishing out a smooth 7.3 assists in 35.2 minutes per game. Possessing the ability to be able to penetrate through defenses with ease, Carter-Williams has the tools to be a starting point guard in time.
Although both players are undeniably talented, we simply do not know how things will turn out for them at this level.
Think about it, how often have guys made it into the NBA and fell away in the blink of an eye? No doubt, we have seen the situation plenty of times. Guy gets drafted in the lottery, expectations are high and turn out to never be fulfilled.
Likewise, placing all the chips in the 2014 NBA draft is simply a game of chance.
The 2014 first-round pick acquired from New Orleans could turn out to be a lottery pick. However, the pick is top-five protected for New Orleans, meaning that if it turns out to be a top-five pick, New Orleans will be able to keep it.
Basically, unless the lottery balls fall in the Sixers' favor for the 2014 first-round pick they already own, getting in a position to draft a top prospect like Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker is somewhat improbable.
Sam Hinkie and Co.’s draft night decision to move Holiday will take awhile to rebound from. Placing the Sixers in a position to fail in order to build from the ground up will be a long and trying process.
In time, brighter days will be in store for the Sixers. For now, however, the distant future is simply all there is to look forward to.