Andy Lyons/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- This Philadelphia 76ers may be in the midst of a historically bad stretch of basketball, but hope is on the horizon as rookie center Nerlens Noel is slowly but surely making his way back from a torn ACL.
Noel has yet to play a single minute for the Sixers this season as he tore his ACL last season during his freshman year at Kentucky.
Despite the injury, the team traded point guard Jrue Holiday on draft night for the right to Noel, and have worked with him to get healthy and improved on the court. They just don't know when he'll play in a game.
"Whether we ever get to see him in a game this year, it really is, 'Who knows?'" Sixers head coach Brett Brown said via HoopsHype. "I've gone on (the) record to say I wish I could coach him and get some games under our belt with him. But the boxes he has to tick, the ones we've always talked about, those have yet to be ticked."
The Sixers are hoping Noel lives up to his potential as a relentless shot blocker and rim protector once he returns to the court.
In his lone year at Kentucky, Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4.4 blocks per game.
Stacy Revere/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NFL can be a harsh business sometimes, and the New Orleans Saints are finding out first hand. According to ESPN, the team plans to cut running back Darren Sproles if they're unable to trade him.
The 30-year-old Sproles has been one of hte most dynamic dual threat running backs in the entire NFL going back to his days wih the San Diego Chargers. But with the Saints' issues with the salary cap, Sproles was a necessary casualty.
New Orleans has already parted ways with veterans Lance Moore, Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Roman Harper, and Jabari Greer.
"Thank you New Orleans for your support over the past 3 years! I will always be forever grateful. #WhoDat," Sproles tweeted on Friday.
Sproles' offensive production has taken a slight deep the past few seasons despite still being among the best at his position.
In 2013, Sproles had 220 rushing yards and 604 receiving yards on 71 catches. He scored two touchdowns last season, his fewest in a full season since 2010.
Elsa/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have locked up a key member of their club as they've given a six-year extension with infielder Matt Carpenter.
Carpenters deal is worth $52 million, according to ESPN.
In only a short period of time, Carpenter has proven to be a dependable and consistent offensive threat for the Cardinals.
The 28-year-year old Carpenter has been a full-time starter for just two seasons, but has improved across the board. In 2013, Carpenter hit .318 with 11 home runs, drove in 78 runs, and scored 126 runs.
Carpenter's value doesn't just come with a bat, but with a glove as well. He was an All-Star at second base in 2013, but to make room for highly-touted prospect Kolten Wong, Carpenter will make the shift to third base.
With Carpenter in the lineup, the Cardinals are expected to field a strong team on the offensive end. In 2013, the team ranked 3rd in the Majors with 783 runs scored.
Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Add Lance Moore's name to the growing list of free agent wide receivers.
The New Orleans Saints have released the veteran receiver in a cost-cutting move. Moore, 30, was due to make $3.8 million in salary and bonuses in 2014, including a $500,000 roster bonus due this month.
By releasing him, the Saints will save at least $2.5 million against this year's salary cap. Moore has two years remaining on his current contract.
Moore has been with the Saints longer than any other player on the roster. After joining the practice squad in 2005, he worked his way into the team's record books. Moore ranks among the top five receivers in Saints history in receptions (346) and touchdown catches (38) to go along with 4,281 yards.
He had his first 1,000-yard season in 2012, but struggled last season. He missed three weeks with a hand injury and fell behind rookie Kenny Stills on the depth chart. Moore finished the regular season with 37 catches for 457 yards and two touchdowns.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The rollercoaster season continues for the New York Knicks.
According to ESPN, Knicks president and general manager Steve Mills met with legendary coach Phil Jackson about two weeks ago about the possibility of Jackson becoming the team's next head coach.
Mike Woodson is still the head coach of the Knicks, but the team has struggled under him. They enter play Friday with a 22-40 record and currently sit 5 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
ESPN is also reporting that the message the Knicks received from Jackson was that he was not interested in the position at this time.
According to a report by The New York Daily News, The Knicks offered Jackson a front office job and expect a decision next week.
The 68-year-old Jackson has won 11 NBA championships as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. In 20 seasons he has compiled a record of 1,155-485.
John Weast/Getty Images Sport(LAWRENCE, Kan.) -- While no one is quite sure whether or not top collegiate prospects Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid will declare for the 2014 NBA Draft, Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins sounds like he's getting ready to join the pros.
Just a freshman, Wiggins is in line to be the number one pick in the upcoming June draft and has been a heavily-hyped player even before he committed to Kansas.
With the regular season winding down, Wiggins is already reflecting on his time at Kansas.
"It went too quick," Wiggins said.
"I wish I had more time to stay here and do my thing, just be here with the team and the coaches and all these wonderful fans," Wiggins added. "That's one of the reasons I committed here. I came here on senior night and the fans were so loyal."
This season has been an up-and-down one for the Canadian phenom. This season, he's averaged 16.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
James McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NBA use of sleeved jersey's this season has caused a variety of reactions around the basketball world, but Miami Heat forward Lebron James is not a fan of the NBA's latest venture.
"I'm not making excuses, but I'm not a big fan of the jerseys," James said after losing Thursday to the San Antonio Spurs. "Every time I shoot it feels like it's just pulling underneath my arm. I already don't have much room for error on my jump shot. It's definitely not a good thing."
James shot 6-of-18 from the floor while wearing the sleeved jersey on Thursday.
James also pointed out the sleeved jerseys affected his shooting during the team's Christmas Day game against the Los Angeles Lakers when he shot 0-of-4 on three-point shots and 0-of-7 on three-point shots in the All-Star game. Each occasion he wore a sleeved jersey.
James' field goal percentage has gone up every season since 2006-2007. He's shooting a career-high .577% from the field this season.
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images(CLEARWATER, Fla.) -- At first the Philadelphia Phillies said they expected starting pitcher Cole Hamels to miss a limited portion of the regular season as he battled arm fatigue. As it turns out, Hamels status for the regular season is in question after suffering an injury setback.
"I believe I threw 35 pitches," Hamels said. "To my body it felt like a thousand."
Hamels complained of biceps tendonitis back in November, and in spring training it became apparent that Hamels would miss the first couple weeks of the season.
If the Phillies have any hope of contending in 2014, they'll need a healthy Hamels.
"The only thing that's a concern for me is the fact that we have to push him back," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said. "The fact that he's throwing, not having any pain for anything like that, this is part of the rehab, things happen."
In 33 starts last season, Hamels went 8-14 with 3.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts.
The 30-year-old Hamels is entering the second year of a six-year, $144 million contract.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- JayVaughn Pinkston scored eight of his 15 points in the final 3:20 to help No. 6 Villanova fend off Xavier 77-70 Thursday night, clinching its first outright Big East Championship in 32 years.
Darrun Hilliard led Villanova (27-3, 15-2, Big East) with 19 points, while James Bell scored 12 and Ryan Arcidiacono added 11 in the Wildcats' 11th win in 12 games.
Xavier (20-11, 10-8) was playing its first game without starting center Matt Stainbrook, who strained the MCL in his left knee during the team's loss to Seton Hall Monday.
The Musketeers trailed by ten with 9:40 left in the game, but Justin Martin scored nine of his game-high 20 points from that point on, as Xavier whittled the Wildcats' lead to three with 24 seconds remaining. But after that, Josh Hart and Bell both converted two free throws for Villanova and Xavier didn't score again, securing the win for the Wildcats.
This is the first time Villanova has won the Big East title outright since the 1981-82 season.