(NEW YORK) -- Point guard Jrue Holiday figured he'd be spending the next four years at least with the Philadelphia 76ers, but he was instead blindsided by a draft-night trade to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Holiday emerged as an All-Star in his fourth season in the NBA, all with the Sixers who drafted him 17th overall back in 2009.
On draft night, the team surprisingly shipped him to the Pelicans for the draft rights to Nerlens Noel and a top-5 protected first-round pick in the 2014 draft. Even though Holiday was surprised by the trade, he's already excited to be in New Orleans.
"Once I got the call, [Hinkie] said I was traded, the initial hit is obvioulsy like, 'Wow, what kind of happened?' But, back then, once you start thinking about it, you have Ryan Andersen, Jason Smith, you had Robin Lopez, you [have] Eric Gordon, I was like, 'Well, dang, we're actually going to be really good," Holiday said on Friday.
Still just 23-years-old, Holiday averaged 17.7 points and 8.0 assists per game with the Sixers.
While the Sixers still valued Holiday, they are in full-rebuilding mode and felt that moving his salary as well as acquiring future draft picks was the best direction for the franchise.
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