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The Philadelphia 76ers' Recent Success with Mid-First-Round Picks

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The Philadelphia 76ers' Recent Success with Mid-First-Round Picks
USA TODAY Sports
Based on their draft position, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young turned out far better than expected for the 76ers.

When the Philadelphia 76ers traded All-Star Jrue Holiday during the 2013 NBA draft, it was a move made solely with the future in mind.

Not only did the team land a potential defensive anchor in Nerlens Noel that night, but the New Orleans Pelicans also shipped over a top-five protected 2014 draft pick in exchange for Holiday.

The jury remains out on the wisdom of such a swap. If the Pelicans qualify for the 2014 playoffs, it could end up being an unmitigated disaster. All-Star point guards don't just grow on trees, after all.

Given the Sixers' recent history with mid-first-round picks, however, a Pelicans playoff berth wouldn't necessarily seal the trade's fate as a loss. The Sixers have been shockingly prescient at uncovering valuable prospects in the 12-18 range over the past half decade.

Back in 2009, Basketball-Reference's Justin Kubatko quantified the expected value of first-round draft picks based on average win shares produced over the first four years of a player's career.

He used this formula for his calculations: EV = 26.5 - 6.3 * log(pick_overall).

Here, take a look at how each of the Sixers' mid-first-round picks since 2007 have measured up to those expectations. (Evan Turner is included here, too, just for fun).

 

Note: All win shares totals, both expected and actual, come from Basketball-Reference.

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