Until Next Time: Nerlens Noel Done for the Year
As reported on ESPN.com, straight to the news desk here @TJRsports, it looks like Nerlens Noel's NBA debut will have to wait until 2014. He tore his ACL last season playing for Kentucky and had surgery to repair it last March. Initially, he was expected to return around the new year but it looks like the 76ers are going to keep the future of their front-court out until next season. What I am finding interesting is in the NFL, players tear their ACLs and are out the minimum length of time. It seems the trend in the NBA is moving more toward the maximum recovery time. This season will tell if keeping Derrick Rose out the extra time will allow him to come back at 100% and pick up where he left off. If Derrick Rose comes back better than ever and Noel comes back next season very strong, this trend of longer recovery times may continue.
Prior to the injury, he was one of the best players in college basketball and was a cinch to be the number 1 pick in last years NBA draft. Is this a smart move by the 76ers? Yes it is. Noel is an elite interior defender and rebounder. Last season in 24 games at Kentucky, he averaged 9.5 rebounds, 2 steals and almost 4.5 blocks per game!! That's unbelievable. He's still only 19 years old and let's be honest, the 76ers are going to be awful this season. He will get the full season to get his knee healed, get bigger for the rigors of the NBA schedule and learn the game. Besides, if the 76ers are bad enough, they may have a good shot at Andre Wiggins and pairing those 2 young studs together would be better than the 76ers could ever dream.
That's all from the NBA news desk for today! Thanks for reading!