We're sorry to have to say this, Philadelphia 76ers fans. But it sounds like your 2013-14 NBA season is already over.

Technically, the Sixers' season doesn't start until October 30 when they're scheduled to tipoff their 2013-14 campaign against the Miami Heat. But Sixers head coach Brett Brown went on the record yesterday and admitted that Nerlens Noel—who the Sixers traded the New Orleans Pelicans for during the 2013 NBA Draft—will not play this year because of the torn ACL that he suffered at Kentucky back in February. Noel was expected to miss about half of the season while continuing to rehab his left knee. But Brown just announced that the plan now is to hold Noel out of the lineup this year in order to make sure that he's ready to go next season.

"I doubt, everybody doubts that he's going to play this year," Brown said yesterday. "We don't want to waste this year. I think from a skill perspective, it's an opportunity for us to break down his shot, really work on his free throws, and start a little bit from ground zero."

That's all well and good, except it means that the 76ers will most likely stink this year. Even with Noel, they weren't going to be very good. So without him, they're going to be dreadful. But oh well. The worse they are, the better their chances of getting a high lottery pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. And that draft is going to be stacked with talent. So maybe sacrificing this season by holding Noel out isn't such a bad idea after all.

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[via ESPN]