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New Orleans Pelicans Draft Nerlens Noel, Trade Him For Jrue Holiday

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

No one could have predicted Nerlens Noel falling out of the first five picks, which is why the New Orleans Pelicans received plenty of trade offers.

As first reported by Adrien Wojnarowski, the Pelicans traded the rights to Noel and a 2014 first-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, in exchange for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday.

The 2014 first-round pick is top 5 protected, meaning if the Pelicans are slated 1-5 in next year’s draft, they keep it. Any other slot, it goes to Philly.

In the scenario that it is a top 5 pick, it would become unprotected the following season, and go to the 76ers.

Philadelphia also sent New Orleans the 42nd overall pick, which they used to acquire the rights to Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson. (Read more about Jackson here)

Noel’s slide was a major surprise. The majority of mock drafts had Noel going #1 overall, despite the fact that he’s currently recovering from ACL surgery.

Nerlens is considered to be an elite defensive prospect. He initially thought he would join fellow Kentucky alum Anthony Davis, who was the #1 overall pick in the draft a season ago.

“It feels great to have an opportunity to play with Anthony (Davis),” said Noel. “It’s going to be a shot blocking party down there.”

Looks like we’ll never know what kind of party it would be. Now Noel is heading to Philly, while Holiday becomes a Pelican.

For full 2013 NBA draft results, click here.

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