Nerlens Noel says he might come back this season

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I still wouldn’t bet on it.

Smart money is last year’s first round pick Nerlens Noel will sit out this entire season recovering from an ACL injury, there is no reason for Philadelphia to rush him. That’s been the accepted wisdom.

However, when Noel was interviewed on SiriusXM NBA Radio with hosts Jason Goff and Sam Mitchell Monday he left the door open (CSNPhilly.com also reported this).

“I mean, (sitting out all season) hasn’t been really said. We’re just definitely taking our time with it and being very cautious with things, definitely worrying about my health. But as it regards to the whole season, that decision hasn’t been made up. I still have to meet with my doctors, Dr. Andrews and Kevin Wilk, and come to a conclusion on that.”

So, he could return this season?

“It’s a possibility.”

Noel was expected to be the No. 1 overall pick last season but slipped down the board after his injury. Landing with Philadelphia was a perfect spot for him — they were not going to rush him back. They also have a nice young point guard to pair him with in Michael Carter-Williams (who has missed the last 7 games, but that’s another story).

If at the end of the season he’s able to go and they can get his feet wet with a couple NBA games, great. Consider him a late-season call up in baseball. Noel is going through team shootarounds and film sessions, getting used to the NBA life.

But I still bet he sits the season out.