Last year, when the NBA Draft was being projected, Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel was being slotted as the No. 1 pick overall. But thanks to a torn ACL, his stock dropped and he fell into the laps of the Philadelphia 76ers through a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The thinking at the time was that Noel would sit out the entire 2013-14 season, get fully healthy and in the meantime the Sixers would tank and grab another lottery pick in the 2014 draft. But the Sixers aren’t completely tanking and Noel won’t completely sit out the entire season. According to ESPN, Noel has been cleared for contact and could make his NBA debut as soon as just after the All-Star Break.
Noel tore his ACL about a year ago while still with the Kentucky Wildcats but that hasn’t kept him from getting ready for his NBA debut this season. We’ve seen NBA players sit entire seasons after tearing their ACL the year prior, but Noel is ready to hit the court and the Sixers seem onboard with the idea of letting him do so.