Sixers draft in review: Jrue Holiday gets traded for 6th pick, Nerlens Noel

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As the Philadelphia 76ers prepare for the 2021 NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on July 29, we look back on past drafts.

The Sixers entered the 2013 NBA draft looking to bounce back from a poor 2012-13 season. There were high expectations, but the trade for Andrew Bynum was a failure, and Philadelphia was stuck in limbo.

They were bad, but not quite bad enough to grab a top pick. The Sixers had the 11th pick in the draft, which turned out to be Michael Carter-Williams, and new general manager Sam Hinkie wanted to kick start a robust rebuilding process.

Hinkie made a big deal, trading Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for the sixth pick, which turned out to be big man Nerlens Noel. The Kentucky center would have been the No. 1 pick if not for injuries, and he missed the entire 2013-14 season due to a knee injury.

Noel made his debut in the 2014-15 season. He averaged 9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.9 blocks as he showed off a very good defensive acumen. He averaged 11.1 points in his second season, but then Joel Embiid stepped onto the floor in the 2016-17 season, and the Sixers moved Noel to the Dallas Mavericks in a trade at the deadline.

Noel has since morphed into a defensive stalwart for teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks. He mostly came off the bench for the Thunder, but he started for the Knicks in the 2020-21 season in place of the injured Mitchell Robinson and made a big impact there.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!


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