The Trade for Nerlens Noel
Jun 27, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Nerlens Noel (Kentucky) poses with NBA commissioner David Stern after being selected as the number six overall pick to the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2013 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Coming into this draft, I had a fascination with Nerlens Noel. It probably had something to do with his the fact that the kid was so damn tall but so damn skinny at the same damn time — shoutout 2CHAINZ. Not to mention, Noel was a block machine at Kentucky, registering over four blocks per contest (4.4 to be exact), which is damn good.
However, with the 76ers holding the 11th pick in the draft, I expected that my obsession and dreams of Nerlens Noel in a 76ers uniform would remain that: a dream. Who would it be at No. 11? Who knows, maybe Cody Zeller or Steven Adams. In reality, I was expecting to be disappointed, because I was still used to the old management which traded a future first-round selection for Arnett Moultrie, who has done nothing but smoked weed during his 76ers tenure.
Trade rumors were flying like crazy on this night, but the only certainty was that 76ers All-Star point guard was the only untouchable on the roster. I’m still questioning how Thaddeus Young made it through this fateful night. But, with trade rumors floating around, no one was quite sure what would happen, until one man changed the course of the 76ers franchise with one tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Spors that revealed that the 76ers would be trading Jrue Holiday away for Nerlens Noel.
My immediate reaction was a mixture of a high pitched scream, similar to an 11 year old girl, and my fingers tweeting a bunch of obscene words and gestures that probably weren’t English. My wish came true, but it came at the cost of our All-Star point guard, a season after losing another All-Star in Andre Iguodala. However, one thing was clear with the announcement of this trade: Sam Hinkie was not messing around. After coming back off Mount Crazy, I realized that for the first time in my time as a 76ers fan that this franchise had a direction. Yes, we would probably be terrible, but it would mean a high lottery pick, which would mean the chance at a real star.
Most importantly, the trade for Nerlens Noel swiftly ended the egregious Andrew Bynum era in Philadelphia. Most doubted he would return to Philly after his contract expired after not playing a single game for the 76ers, but there was still a slim chance he could return. While giving up Jrue Holiday was sad and something that everyone that loves the 76ers had to come to grips with, most people realized that it was the right move for the future.