The NBA Draft is known to change the course of a franchise. In 2003, the slumping Cleveland Cavaliers selected superstar LeBron James, who launched them towards 60-win seasons. Reeling from his departure, Cleveland selected Kyrie Irving in 2011. This year, the Sixers franchise took a massive step to rebuild a franchise that had been battered and bruised last season.
Firstly,the Cavaliers began a surprising first round by selecting forward Anthony Bennett from UNLV. The consensus was that Cleveland would take one of Nerlens Noel, Alex Len, or Ben Mclemore. Chris Grant once again shocked the world and took an under-the-radar player. Scouts consider Bennett to be one of two players in the draft with “star” potential.
The Sixers were scheduled to pick at 11, but GM Sam Hinkie made his presence felt. He concocted a trade to ignite a potential rebuilding process in one night. After New Orleans selected Noel, it was announced that they had traded his rights to Philadelphia. Along with Noel, the Pelicans sent a 2014 lottery pick(protected from 1-5). The Sixers traded All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday, along with a second round pick. The Sixers selected point guard Michael Carter-Williams with their own selection.
Shock and despair shrouds the emotions of Sixers fans. The loss of an All-Star, a fan favorite, and a hero will sting for some time. However, the results of this trade may be fruitful and satisfying. The Sixers are in full “tank mode” to try and land the top pick next year, netting them future superstar Andrew Wiggins. A team of Carter-Williams, another lottery pick, Wiggins, Thad Young, and Noel would no doubt make any Sixer fan proud. Following next year’s draft will be a loaded free agent class, and the Sixers will be in prime position to strike cap-wise. This process ,ay be the only way for the Sixers to avoid end-of-the-lottery mediocrity, and instead rise to title contention in a few years.
Rejoice, Sixers fans. The 2014 draft is just 12 months away.