(NEW YORK) — Leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft, many mock drafts had the Cleveland Cavaliers taking center Nerlens Noel number one overall. Instead, he wound up going sixth, and was then traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. But Noel isn’t letting that bring him down.
“They’ve got a great organization there too,” Noel said. “I’m just staying positive about the whole thing. It shows how much confidence they have in me. I’m just looking to get down there and work hard.”
Noel was one of the biggest prospects in college basketball last season at Kentucky, but tore his ACL during the season, leaving his future in doubt. His knee injury likely contributed to his draft slide, but Philadelphia saw an opportunity to land Noel, but at a steep price. The team sent All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Noel and a lottery protected 2014 first-round pick.
At Kentucky during his freshman season, the 19-year-old Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4.4 blocks per game.
Meanwhile, Holiday put up his best season as a pro this past season. He averaged 17.7 points and 8.0 assists per game.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN