Nerlens Noel and a first round pick next year. On paper this trade would seem very risky; a proven star for an injured rookie and a future pick. However, it is a very good trade for the Sixers in my opinion because they were on the road to nowhere and were traveling at the speed of light.
The 76ers have been a team with no direction for years. Your classic last team in the playoffs with a cast of above average players. In today's NBA that won't get you far. You have to pay top dollar to keep that cast of players together, you don't have a chance to draft elite talent, and there is no chance of winning a championship with the "Big 3s" of the world out there looming. That is why new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie did what he did last night. He recognized that this Sixers team had no chance to do anything more than what they have done in the recent past, and blew it up. Jrue Holiday was turned around for two first-round draft picks, and apparently Evan Turner and Thad Young are also on the block.
People are lambasting the Sixers for taking such a risk after the Bynum trade blew up in their face so bad last year, but this was the only way to go. Going forward, the Sixers are in great shape. They have two building blocks from this year's draft, and are still going to be terrible enough to get a top pick in 2014. That draft is considered to have some high-level talent at the top. That is the game-changer right there. Moreover, by next year the Sixers will have about $40 million in cap space with which to sign an elite player. That is how you compete in the NBA, high draft picks and big money free agents. Look at the teams in the finals this year; Miami had high draft picks (Wade) and elite free agents (James, Bosh) and San Antonio has built their franchise around a #1 pick in Tim Duncan. The Sixers finally got the memo. Nobody wins the championship with a team of #15 picks.
Next year for the Sixers is going to be absolutely brutal. I don't see one person on their team who can put the ball in the basket with any sort of regularity. Most Sixers fans have seen those types of teams hit the court before though, and have seen that terrible play lead to the drafting of one Allen Iverson; the last player to lead the Sixers to any significant success. With Noel out for half of the season, and Michael Carter-Williams not having anybody to pass to, and no coach as of yet, this team will be BAD. However, it will lead to the acquisition of better talent in the future. It is better to be really bad and have the chance to be really good than to be consistently mediocre. I applaud the moves that the 76ers made last night.