During the 2013 NBA draft University of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel was taken sixth-overall by the New Orleans Pelicans. Many, including myself, was excited to see how he could play next to Anthony Davis, whom many considered to be the next Bill Russell. This would’ve resulted as the new “Twin Towers”. That wasn’t the case though, as Noel’s rights were immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for an All-Star point guard.
That point guard was Jrue Holiday.
Holiday was just 23-years-old, coming off his first ever NBA All-Star game appearance. He was also already considered to be one of the best young-players in the league. Philadelphia had a new and unique approach towards the dreaded “rebuilding process” as General Manager Sam Hinkie unleashed his “tanking” theory. This was an extended process that depended solely on selling-off all established players, collecting picks and of course — losing a ton of games to keep their chances of obtaining the first-overall pick. The hope was that eventually, they would find a once-in-a-generation talent through the draft, in which a contending team would build around, not a team who would be stuck in mediocrity — much like the year, before they were the 8th seed.
Fast-forward to 2017 and apparently Philadelphia is interested in reuniting with their old floor-general, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN:
The Sixers will take a hard look at Holiday this summer, sources say.
Holiday will become an unrestricted free agent this summer and it’s unclear what New Orleans intentions are with him. The Pelicans are currently only one game out of the eigth-seed, but is a shot at fighting against the Golden State Warriors in round one ideal? Probably not, and their best bet could be to sell off anyone not named Anthony Davis in a strong draft class, where picks could be a hot commodity. Either way, Holiday will be free to chose where he plays this summer and it seems Philadelphia could be a strong bidder.
Holiday has missed some time over the last few seasons with leg injuries, never appearing in more than 65 games for New Orleans. At the beginning of the season he missed 12 games, as he was attending to his sick wife Lauren, who was pregnant and undergoing treatment for brain tumors. Ever since his return though the team’s record is 15-16 which is a significant difference for a team who was 2-10 before his season debut. Personally, Holiday has averaged 13.6 points, 7 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.