The duo that could have been: Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel. Just like Noel said when he was drafted, this would have definitely been a block party.
Noel was projected to be the number one pick for most of the season until he went down with a ACL injury earlier this year. After his injury all his flaws became more apparent and discussed. Instead of being the hands down top pick, the discussion became more open than ever seen in recent draft history. Even though he was clearly a huge game changer for Kentucky, (his team didn’t even make the NCAA tournament with him injured) there were still questions.
Draft day things got even crazier as the Cleveland Cavaliers decided on Anthony Bennett with the number one pick. Soon after the Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats (sigh), and Phoenix Suns made selections that weren’t Noel. Finally the New Orleans Pelicans selected Nerlens with the 6th pick of the draft. I got really excited thinking that Noel would team up with last year’s number one pick, Anthony Davis to form a crazy shot blocking duo. Instead the Pelicans decided to deal him to the Philadelphia 76ers for all-star point guard Jrue Holiday. The move was definitely unexpected just like almost everything that happened up to that point in the 2013 NBA Draft. The 76ers also get a 2014 first round pick in the deal.
This move pretty much shows that the 76ers have given up on Andrew Bynum, and Nerlens Noel is the best guy to take over what Bynum never did. The 76ers are definitely rebuilding and are shaping up around Noel. This is a excellent move for the Pelicans as they get an all-star point guard to add to an already impressive young core. Noel says he’s going to make the teams that passed on him pay and I actually believe him.