It was a year to forget if you’re a Sixers fan. Expectations were high before the season after obtaining the 7-foot Andrew Bynum. Unfortunately for the city of Philadelphia, Bynum never stepped foot on the court. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove debris from both knees. The team struggled throughout the season, finishing with an 34-48 record and missing the postseason. Former Sixers head coach Doug Collins called it quits after the season.
There was one lone bright spot for Philadelphia and that was the play of Jrue Holiday. He made his first NBA All-Star appearance. Holiday averaged 17.7 points, 8.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds a game.
Despite all of that, Philadelphia decided to move on from Holiday. They traded him on draft night to New Orleans in exchange for Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick. The trade indicates that Philadelphia is in rebuild mode and Holiday didn’t want to be apart of that. Holiday was so excited about the move that it only took him five minutes to get over it. He spoke with Hangtime Blog about the transaction.
“It was like five minutes, to be honest,” Holiday said. “After I got the call and they said I got traded, I immediately thought about [Sixers guard] Evan Turner. We’d been through everything together in Philly, really grown up together in the league in Philly along with Thad Young, Spencer Hawes and those guys, But then I thought about it and it was like, ‘oh snap, Eric Gordon‘s on your team. Anthony Davis is on your team. Ryan Anderson, Austin Rivers and at the time [Robin] Lopez. This could be crazy.’ They sent me to a good team. This could be a blessing in disguise.”
The new look Pelicans are loaded with talent on paper. It’s up to head coach Monty Williams to get these guys playing together as a unit. Holiday got a head start in building a relationship with his new coach, during USA’s Basketball mini-camp last week in Las Vegas.
“He’s a genuine guy sand he’s a winner,” Holiday said of Williams. “He wants to build a winner. And that’s what I’m about, so that should be an easy transition.”
New Orleans will be looking to make the postseason for the first time since the departure of Chris Paul.