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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sixers land Noel, Carter-Williams, and Kazemi on crazy NBA Draft night

By: Steve Zoladek
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Wow.  After months of silence following the hiring of Sam Hinkie, the Sixers made a tremendous splash on draft night.  Coming into tonight, the Sixers held the 11th pick of the first round, and seemed headed towards another lottery pick that wasn't going to pan out.  Sam Hinkie wasn't going to sit back and let that happen.  After seeing Nerlens Noel, the projected first overall pick, fall out of the top-five due to concerns about his offensive game and recovering knee injury, Hinkie threw a Godfather offer at Nawlins to rip Nerlens away.  The Sixers also drafted Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams with the 11th pick.

Along with Jrue Holiday, the Sixers also sent out the 42nd overall pick. The 2014 first-round pick that the Sixers received from New Orleans is top-five protected, meaning that it won't land them Andrew Wiggins, but it could land them another excellent talent in a deep draft next year.  Along with New Orleans' pick, the Sixers have their own first-round pick next season.  With their best player gone and Noel out until December, it seems to be a tanking season for Philadelphia.  In one night, the Sixers went from being stuck in mediocrity to a team in complete rebuilding mode.  They could potentially have two top-ten picks next season, and a new face of the franchise.

Holiday's replacement, Carter-Williams, is a 6'6 guard that plays tremendous defense (2.7 steals per game last season), but leaves something to be desired on the offensive end.  He will be a serviceable player, but unless he learns to shoot, he will never be anything more than an average player.

Noel has the potential to a franchise player.  His offensive game has been called into question, but there is no debate on the fact that he is a defensive gamechanger.  Before his season-ending injury last year, he was averaging 4.4 blocks and 2.1 steals per game.  Those defensive numbers compare to Hakeem Olajuwon's sophomore season at Houston University and Shaquille O'Neal's junior year at LSU.  The Sixers will allow him all season to get fully healthy, if that's what he needs.  I think he's perfect for Philly.  He plays hard and has ridiculous athleticism.  I mean, look at the play he tore his ACL! He hustled after a guard on a turnover and had a chasedown block!

After trading their 35th pick, Glen Rice Jr., for the 38th and 54th picks, the Sixers then traded that 38th pick, Nate Wolters, for the 43rd pick, Ricky Ledo, whom they THEN traded to Dallas for nothing. With the 54th pick, the Sixers selected Arsalan Kazemi, a high-energy rebounder out of Oregon.  Kazemi is the first Iranian ever drafted in the NBA.  Basically, the Sixers were busy.

With the trade of Holiday, the Sixers now have about $18 million in cap space that I see them saving for the summer of 2013-14.  That means a lot of short-term deals to fill roster needs for this season.  Reportedly, the Sixers were actively trying to trade Evan Turner last night to Phoenix for a late first-round draft pick, but weren't able to get a deal done.  The Sixers also believe Noel is a five in the league, meaning the end of Andrew Bynum as a Sixer.
For an actual rebuild, I say: Thank you, Sam Hinkie!  IN HINKIE WE TRUST!

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