If you’re a Sixers fan, then last night during Draft Day was certainly an interesting night. There were already rumors that they were going to trade away somebody such as Evan Turner to mix things up, but not many people saw coming what they actually did. Instead, they traded Jrue Holiday for newly drafted C Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first round draft pick. In the long term, this could be an interesting decision. In the short term, I don’t think they have a clue what they’re doing.
Here are the problems with this trade. First, Holiday was becoming one of the top point guards in the league and could’ve easily been their franchise player. He was seen as the unanimous best player on the team last year and led them without Andrew Bynum all year. But now without him (and likely without Bynum), who’s their top guy? Is it Thad Young? Is it Evan Turner? Or maybe even Spencer Hawes? I think they’re all about equal, but there needs to be one guy out there that’s the clear leader and the obvious choice to rely on when the game is close. I don’t think any of those guys qualify.
Second, Noel is a huge risk. He’s coming off of a torn ACL, which is one of the most devastating injuries in all of sports and can keep players out anywhere from 8-12 months. It’s only been 4.5 months since the injury, and even after 8 months it will be mid-October, a couple weeks before the NBA season starts. And this is looking at the short end of the timetable that he could be out; if he were out for the full year, he’d miss most of the regular season. Now maybe the Sixers are willing to take this risk considering his potential, but he certainly has a higher chance of getting hurt again now. Didn’t they learn with Andrew Bynum? If they don’t get Noel for this season, they’re in serious trouble.
Third, Michael Carter-Williams is a good player, but is he ready to start immediately in the NBA as the point guard for the Sixers? This would be a huge responsibility and a lot of high expectations for a guy that was just drafted. Assuming Bynum doesn’t re-sign and Noel is healthy, their starting lineup would be Noel, Hawes, Thad Young, Turner, and Carter-Williams. While that’s a pretty good lineup, all of those guys are pretty young. Other than the overpaid Jason Richardson and overrated Kwame Brown, they really don’t have a real veteran leader that can come in when needed. Putting out a really young lineup next year will likely only lead them to another losing season.
But not all hope is lost. All of the returning starters are getting a lot better, and they have two first round draft picks that could really do some damage in the future. But as for next season, I don’t see them making it to the playoffs. Sixers fans, be prepared for another season of woe. I don’t think things will be much better in the 2013-2014 season.