New general manager Sam Hinkie took a ridiculous gamble by sending Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night. He shook up the team like a bottle of juice, and we're all wondering what is next.
How do the Sixers turn a dismantled, newly put together team into a potential championship contender in a short amount of time?
Well, it all begins with their selections from the 2013 NBA draft. Let's take a look at and grade each of the Sixers' draft decisions.
Trading Jrue Holiday for 2014 First-Round Pick and Pick No. 6, Nerlens Noel, C, University of Kentucky
Trading Holiday for an opportunity to grab Noel is a franchise-changing move. One that could eventually be talked about for years to come. For now, Let's just look at it for what it is.
A great move.
Philadelphia has been stuck in the middle of the pack for far too long. Every once in a while it has put together a solid run that has gotten the team past the first round of the postseason, but it has not gotten further in a number of years. Philly has taken the slowly build up approach during that time, and clearly it hasn't been working.
Hinkie flipped the team upside down and did the unthinkable by moving Philadelphia's best player, and gave a description of the organization's direction without having to say a word. It is clear Hinkie wants to start from scratch and build from potential.
He is now on the right track after selecting Noel with the No. 6 pick.
Noel was a potential No. 1 pick all the way up to draft night. There is a strong chance he slid because of a left ACL that is currently torn, but like they say: "One man's trash is another man's treasure," and this pick has the chance of ending up as the best one in the entire draft.
It will take some time to see if Noel can end up healthy and become a centerpiece in Philadelphia. All we know now is that it will definitely be a fun journey to watch.
Pick No. 11: Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse University
Losing Holiday meant Philadelphia needed a point guard for the future.
Enter Michael Carter-Williams.
Carter-Williams' name was No. 1 among point guards in this year's class depending on whose draft board you looked at. His emergence during the 2012-13 season as an over-sized point turned a lot of heads, but he slowly lost momentum as the season went on.
An advantage to selecting him is how is weaknesses are extremely fixable. His shooting ability isn't anywhere close to where it should be; however, enough time in the gym will solve the problem over time.
Having an opportunity to select a 6' 6" point guard with top-of-the-line ball-handling skills and exceptional vision doesn't come around often. A size advantage of that kind could end up helping out the Sixers more than they know.
This was the right pick.
Trading Pick No. 38 Nate Wolters to the Milwaukee Bucks
Imagining what Wolters would have done in a Sixers jersey is a fun thought. He is an under-the-radar point guard with the ability to score the ball.
It's possible that Wolters could be a better, and lesser known, version of Jimmer Fredette. There is a good chance of him being able to stick around because of his shooting ability, but we won't see it take place in Philadelphia.
Pick No. 54: Arsalan Kazemi, SF, University of Oregon
If the second round of the NBA draft is about value, then the Sixers nailed it on the head with this pick.
Kazemi's rebounding ability gives him a chance to turn into a version of Paul Millsap. He is only 6'7", 226 pounds, but he has a nose for the ball. His past three years in college had him averaging at least 10.0 rebounds per game. Again, Kazemi is significantly undersized, but it has been proven that rebounding is a particular skill where size can be overcome.
His lack of quickness and perimeter game limit him on offense, so putting on some weight and being able to play at power forward in smaller lineups is in his best interest. If he is able to do that, then the Sixers not only got a steal, but they also got a guy who should be able to come in and contribute right away.
The Sixers might have made the best selections in the NBA on draft night. On top of their picks, they also got rid of their most talented player in search of a direction.
Hopefully, the direction only goes up from here.
Oh, and for those still unsure about trading Holiday for the No. 6 pick. Don't forget about the 2014 first-round draft pick given to the Sixers in the deal. That draft class should be loaded with talent and Philadelphia has a shot at having two lottery picks for it.
The trade could work out for Philly better than imagined.
Overall Grade: A+
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