Jul 13, 2013, 1:59 PM EDT
That Boy Jrue sure seemed to enjoy his honeymoon, as his vacation with new bride Lauren Cheney ended up delaying his trade to New Orleans–which could technically have been made official on Wednesday–until yesterday, when he finally became a Pelican, being formally introduced as the team’s new point guard. As previously reported, Holiday’s departure (along with the #42 pick in this year’s draft, Pierre Jackson) comes in return for the #6 overall pick (and top-rated talent pre-draft) Nerlens Noel, and a future New Orleans first-round pick, which is permanently top-five protected. Noel remains on the shelf for some time as he recovers from his ACL tear, but at least GM Sam Hinkie no longer has to pretend like he’s not even a part of the team.
In similar news, the Sixers’ trade with the Rockets for troubled prospect Royce White and Turkish rebounding machine Furkan Aldemir for not much of anything in return has also officially gone through. News of this is mostly interesting for the way it was presented by the Sixers’ PR, who framed the trade as a deal for Aldemir, with White as more of a footnote. This would seem to go a long way towards confirming the oft-posited theory that the Sixers aren’t really all that interested in White, whose crippling anxiety struggles Hinkie got to witness first-hand as an assistant in Houston last year, but that they really see something in Aldemir, the 53rd pick in the draft last year. In any event, neither player is likely to contribute much to the Sixers next season.
With these moves finalized, I don’t expect a lot of further activity for the Sixers this off-season–there may be a roster spot or two to be filled out by minimum guys, but most of the big-name free agents are already spoken for at this point, and the few remaining don’t really make much sense for Philly anyway. There’s always the possibility of more Jrue-like rebuilding trades to come, shedding players like Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, but my instinct is that those trades, if they are to happen, will come over the course of the season, rather than during the summer. Not a certainty by any means, but I’d bet that the roster they currently have is basically the one they’ll take to the pre-season, if not opening night.
Of course, there is one important move still to be made for the Sixers, presumably: Hiring a head coach. You may have heard that the Sixers are the last team to still be searching for a coach, which is true, and furthermore, nobody in the organization seems to be treating the matter with any degree of urgency–we’ll get one when we get one, seems to be the general approach. The team is making at least one proactive move, however, as CSN reports that the Sixers will interview Celtics assistant Jay Larranga, formerly in the hunt for the C’s head gig that eventually went to Butler coach Brad Stevens. Hard to have much of a reading on that potential hire, but I’m mostly in favor of the Sixers going Young Unrpoven Assistant over Deposed Proven Curmudgeon or what have you. More to come on that if it seems like it’s going to pan out.
What a crazy off-season it’s already been, though, for the Sixers and the league at large. Certainly made the comedown from the high of the playoffs a lot more manageable for us NBA junkies out there.
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