Released this morning, the New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday will be out indefinitely with a stress fracture to his right tibia.
Why is this news for the Sixers?
Well, as you all should be aware of, the Sixers currently own the Pelicans 2014 1st-round pick, which is top five protected. Per, tankathon.com, the Pelicans are currently slated at the No. 12 spot, with a 2.5 percent chance of moving into the top three. The Pelicans are 15-19 on the season and are currently on a three game losing streak.
I’d have to imagine with this injury that the Pelicans will be getting worse, not better. With rumors circulating that Eric Gordon is on the trade block, New Orleans might be jumping ship and trying to tank. That’s purely speculation which I doubt is true, but it’s a possibility.
This is dangerous waters for Philadelphia.
While this may seem positive initially for the draft pick (I don’t care about this pick and would much rather see Holiday healthy and playing), let’s think about this.
This injury might make the Pelicans bad enough, where they jump into the top five and the Sixers don’t get the first-rounder this year. Remember that the lottery is based purely on chance and percentages, so every loss makes the pick closer to the top five for the Pelicans. This is dangerous.
The Sixers could go from dreaming of Wiggins or Parker, along with someone like Garry Harris or Rodney Hood — to just having someone like Aaron Gordon. If the Sixers come out of this draft with just Aaron Gordon in the first round, it will be a failure.
On the other hand, this could make the pick worth more to the Sixers, if it does indeed fall right outside of the top five, say in the six to eight range. The Sixers could potentially end up with two picks right near each other. They could package those together and try to move up into the top three, to get Wiggins or Parker, assuming the Sixers don’t hold one of the top three draft spots.
We won’t really know until the night of the NBA Draft lottery how this will all turn out. In a month or so, we should know the true identity of the Pelicans.
Honestly, we shouldn’t be concerned. At the end of the day, our future is based upon a bunch of ping pong balls.
I wish Jrue Holiday a speedy recovery. I would much rather have him on the floor playing, instead of the Sixers getting a better lottery pick.
This does, however, make everything a bit more interesting as the rest of the season unfolds.