Chris Mascaro
Monday March 10th, 2014

Nerlens Noel (Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images) Nerlens Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in his only season at Kentucky. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

The 76ers haven't won a game since Jan. 22 in Boston, and when they return there to play the Celtics on April 4, their losing streak could be at 29 games.

But that evening could also bring a glimmer of hope to an otherwise moribund franchise.

Nerlens Noel tweeted "4-4-14" on Sunday, which is reportedly the date he is targeting for his NBA debut after recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee he suffered last February playing for Kentucky, a source confirmed to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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The date is "just a wish," according to Pompey's source, and Noel hadn't told the Sixers of his plan as of Sunday afternoon.

The 19-year-old, who grew up just outside of Boston, was the sixth pick in last year's draft by the Pelicans, who traded him to Philadelphia on draft night for Jrue Holiday.

The 6-11, 228-pounder has yet to participate in five-on-five scrimmages, according to Pompey, and minor back spasms kept him out of Sunday's open practice at Haverford College.

Adds Pompey, "There's a thought that the franchise doesn't want him on the court and would be content if he missed the entire season. In October, Sixers coach Brett Brown said Noel was not likely to play this season, something the team has stood by ever since."

Philadelphia has lost 16 straight games. SI WIRE: Report: Cavaliers believe LeBron James may return to Cleveland

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