76ers Trade Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel

Kentucky's Nerlens Noel will hope to be the strong big man the 76ers have long needed.

Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel will hope to be the strong big man the 76ers have long needed.

It appears the new-look Philadelphia 76ers are getting another makeover. Philadelphia announced they would trade point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for center Nerlens Noel and a 2014 top-5 draft pick, whom the Pelicans selected with the 6th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Holiday was the unquestioned leader of the 76ers last season, averaging a career high 17.7 points and 8.0 assists per game and earning his first All-Star selection. Holiday, who turned 23 on June 12th, was selected 17th ovrall in the 2009 NBA Draft. He recently signed a four year, $41 million extension with Philadelphia.

In return, the 76ers receive former University of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, whom we projected to be the #1 overall pick in tonight’s NBA Draft. Instead, Noel fell to New Orleans at the sixth pick. Noel is the big, physical center the 76ers have long needed. Last year, they traded superstar Andre Igoudala away to acquire Lakers center Andrew Bynum. 82 games and $16.9 million dollars later, Bynum will likely leave Philadelphia without playing a single minute (he struggled to recover from offseason knee surgery and treatment). Philadelphia will also receive a first round draft pick in 2014 that is guaranteed to be a top 5 pick.

The trade of Holiday opened up the point guard role in Philadelphia, so new GM Sam Hinkie used the 76ers’ 11th pick in the NBA Draft to select Syracuse PG Michael-Carter Williams (ranked #8 on our big board). Carter-Williams and Noel represent a new class of young talent in Philadelphia (Williams is 21, and Noel is 19). With the additions of the two young talents, the 76ers have a projected starting lineup of Carter-Williams, Nick Young, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, and Noel. Last year, Noel and Carter-Williams combined for 22.6 points, 14.4 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game.

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