Finally, the Philadelphia 76ers have something to be excited about.
Nerlens Noel, the No. 6 overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft, is reportedly near-ready to take the court for the first time in his professional career. The 19-year-old tweeted an interesting hint on Sunday afternoon, causing speculation among the masses.
— Nerlens Noel (@NerlensNoel3) March 9, 2014
Since the tweet, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer has confirmed that Noel intends to make his debut on April 4, 2014. The Sixers play against the Boston Celtics at the TD Bank Garden on that Friday evening.
Pompey does also note that this is just Noel’s preference, and something he hasn’t revealed to the Sixers, as of Sunday afternoon.
The rookie has been sidelined this season due to an ACL tear he suffered last February while playing in his freshman campaign at the University of Kentucky.
The Sixers are in the midst of a historic downfall. The team has lost 16 consecutive games and at 15-47, owns the league’s second-worst record.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown previously told Sam Amico of FOX Sports that he didn’t think Noel would play this season, but that was from October. Since then, Noel told SiriusXM NBA Radio “there’s a possibility” he will be able to make a return this season, per ESPN.
While the New Orleans Pelicans drafted Noel, the team traded his rights as well as their 2014 first-round pick to the Sixers for Jrue Holiday and the rights to Pierre Jackson.
In 24 games as a Wildcat, the 6-11 center averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks, playing 31.9 minutes per contest.
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