Was The Holiday Trade The Right Move For The Sixers?76ers, BREAKING NEWS, NBA, News Friday, June 28th, 2013
Did the Sixers invite basketball back into Philadelphia after the 2013 NBA draft? They were clearly the most active and aggressive team with both their current and future status as an NBA franchise. They sent their best player in Jrue Holiday packing. Coming off his best season in his young career, Holiday was the one name that fans envisioned Sam Hinkie retaining. After signing a new contract with the Sixers, we expected the front office to rebuild the team around their only 2012 All-Star. Wouldn’t it make sense to market him as the face of this pitiful franchise during its “transitional” or “rebuilding” era in hopes to attract the attention of free agents?
Holiday is no longer a Sixer, as the player we received in the draft day trade has “upside” as his label and not a 2012 All-Star resume. Yes, we received a protected 2014 first round selection in addition to Nerlens Noel, but let me ask you a question: Do you recall the last time the 76ers took a shot-blocking, athletic, quick and defensive minded center with their first round selection? Where his offensive skill-set was questioned coming out of college, but his defensive dominance and athletic gifts would erase the lack of scoring presence. Samuel Dalembert, recall that name Philadelphia? I’m not jumping to conclusions, but Noel may not even play until the mid-waypoint of this season. Bynum’s injury frustrated us with his inability to get on the court last year. How can we truly believe that even with a great rehabilitation for Noel that he will return to the pre-ACL tear form? What position does he play with the Sixers? Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen are already undersized for the positions they play with the Sixers. Noel is thin, and what he got away with in the paint in college won’t be available to him at the professional level. With this being said, I would have made this move. It’s more about drawing interest from the fans. This is being realistic with who the Sixers are.
The 2011 Sixers made it to the playoffs and went further than most expected. (Much of that had to do with the Chicago Bulls loosing Derrick Rose for the series) In the off-season they made a huge, four-team Blockbuster trade, acquiring the services of arguably the second best big man in the NBA in addition to the veteran Jason Richardson. Media and fans awarded the Sixers the 2nd or 3rd seed in the East, and saw only the Miami Heat standing in our way for a title shot. The season was a horror show with Bynum never registering a single minute of playing time and Richardson suffering a season ending injury. No need to explore what the Sixers gave up when acquiring the services of these two veterans. At the time of the trade, the majority of us were all about the potential this team now had. The only positive from the dreaded 2012 season was the now former guard Jrue Holiday.
The Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and now bolstered Brooklyn Nets, are the Sixers really going to compete with any of these teams over the next couple of seasons. With the draft and the right trades and free agent signings, the Sixers could very well squeak into the 2014 playoffs as the 8th seed, and what hope to win a game versus the Heat? That’s not going to bring basketball back to Philadelphia, and Sam Hinkie knows that. He has a vision, and last night he shared a mere glimpse of that with us.
If nothing more, the young, transformed Sixers desperately need to get the attention of the fans. They need to fill seats, bring back some form of mascot and not different dancing teams creating a D-League feel to the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers demonstrated last night that their plan to rebuild this franchise is on a different path then we all thought they would travel. The fact of the matter is that the path was going to be bumpy with or without the services of Jrue Holiday. The 2014 Philadelphia 76ers slogan; new names to familiarize with and additional growing pains that comes with young and unproven talent. Just keeping making moves; get younger, free up cap room and get us to a respectable level for the start of the 2014 season.
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