Nerlens Noel Tweets Date for Potential NBA Debut

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2014

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Nerlens Noel may have majored in cryptography while at Kentucky.

In a mysterious tweet, the Philadelphia 76ers rookie revealed a potential date for his NBA debut:

UPDATE: Wednesday, March 12 at 10:43 a.m. ET

A source with knowledge of the situation told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Noel is unlikely to play this season, so it appears Noel's tweet was wishful thinking.

--End of update--

Friday, April 4, Noel's Sixers are traveling to face the Boston Celtics. Not so coincidentally, Noel hails from the Boston area. He was born in Malden, Massachusetts.

Using that logic, Noel's code isn't difficult to decipher.

Sixers coach Brett Brown previously indicated Noel wouldn't play this season, per FOX Sports' Sam Amico. But that was October. Things have changed. And I'm not just commenting on Philly's shallow, nigh-empty pool of NBA-caliber talent.

"There's a possibility," Noel told SiriusXM NBA Radio on playing this season in December, via

More recently, Brown preached cautious optimism regarding his status moving forward.

"I don’t want to paint the wrong picture, but he is going against bodies a little bit more," he explained, according to CSN Phlly's Dei Lynam. "He is moving in that direction."

If Noel is healthy enough to play, why not let him play?

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 22: Head Coach Brett Brown talks to Nerlens Noel #4 of the Philadelphia 76ers prior to the game against the New York Knicks during the game on January 22, 2014 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User
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The Sixers are clearly tanking and don't have much else to play for. Allowing Noel the opportunity to return before next season would be a semi-bright end to a horrifically dark season. 

Playing Noel also adds additional purpose to Michael Carter-Williams' Rookie-of-the-Year-or-bust campaign. Getting him reps next to his former AAU teammate could help build a foundation for later chemistry next season.

Noel isn't likely to damage Philly's tanking efforts either.

Between now and April 4, the Sixers play 13 games. There's a very real chance they lose all of them. Even if Noel comes back and plays spectacular basketball for the final seven games, the team would still be guaranteed a top-three or top-four draft pick.

So again, why not? Let him play. Let something good spawn out of this season quickly and deliberately gone awry.

It looks like that's what is going to happen. Unless Noel is tweeting in anticipation of Jamie Lynn Spears' birthday, he'll be playing soon.