Nerlens Noel says his left knee “feels great” and he’s looking forward to contributing to the Philadelphia 76ers next season.
Noel, along with fellow Kentucky basketball alums Archie Goodwin, Julius Mays and Twany Beckham, took part in a joint press conference Monday during a break from their duties with the John Calipari Basketball Procamp in Memorial Coliseum.
The 6-foot-10 Noel tore the ACL in his left knee last February. Averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.1 steals, he still was named Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year despite playing only 24 games as a freshman.
Drafted sixth overall by the New Orleans Pelicans, then promptly swapped to Philadelphia, Noel should be ready to play by December, according to Calipari.
Goodwin, also a one-and-done player, was drafted No. 29 overall by the Phoenix Suns. He averaged 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists for UK.
The guard is coming off an NBA Summer League debut in which he averaged 13.1 points and 3.3 rebounds, leading the Suns to the league finals.
“I think I had a really solid summer,” he said. “Just going out there and getting the opportunity to play. I just wanted to showcase that I’ve been working really hard, and I’ve been working on a lot of things in my game.”
Mays, 6-2, averaged 9.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists as a senior at UK.
“Probably in the next few weeks I’ll take a deal overseas,” he said. “I don’t know which country yet.”
Stay tuned to kentucky.com and the Herald-Leader for more from Monday’s press conference.