2. Nerlens Noel
Do you know what people never talk about when they discuss the Philadelphia 76ers’ “The Process?” The fact that the Pelicans were the team that started it.
Okay, so theoretically, the 76ers were the ones that started The Process, as they were the team that made the decision to engage in it. But the Pelicans were the team that engaged in the deal with the 76ers that started The Process.
You don’t know what we are talking about? When the Pelicans (then-Hornets) were up to bat with the sixth overall pick, they had the chance to select Nerlens Noel – the guy many believed had a chance to go first overall in the draft that year.
And you know what they did? They drafted him. But then, immediately after drafting him, they decided to engage in a landscape-altering deal with the 76ers. The Pelicans traded Noel and their 2014 first-round pick for Jrue Holiday.
Unlike the circumstances with the Hunter/Hayes deal, the fact that Noel never played a single minute for the Pelicans actually worked really well for New Orleans. Holiday was the second-best player (and a secret All-Star caliber player) for the Pelicans during the Anthony Davis era.
In an era marked by subpar starters, Holiday was a trustworthy figure for New Orleans. And then, after that, he helped net us a treasure trove of draft capital when we moved him to the Bucks (he then helped win them a title). So, thanks, Philadelphia, for choosing to start The Process with us.