First Cup: Wednesday

  • J. Michael of CSN Washington: The Wizards would prefer to keep their 15th and final roster open but they'd quickly change gears for Ray Allen. The team contacted the 39-year-old shooting guard early in the free agent process to gauge his interest in signing, CSNwashington.com has confirmed with two people with knowledge of the situation Tuesday. Allen, however, has yet to notify his agent, Jim Tanner, if he intends to even play a 19th NBA season. The shooting guard averaged a career low 9.6 points per game with the Miami Heat last season before becoming a free agent. ... Since the initial feeler sent out by the Wizards, there hasn't been any follow-up contact with Allen or his representation, CSNwashington.com has been told. But Tuesday, it was made clear that the Wizards will keep the door open with that 15th spot in hopes of Allen, or a veteran of his caliber and skill set, walking through it.

  • Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports: Retired seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady worked out with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant late this summer in a Southern California gymnasium, testing the preparedness of his body for a possible NBA comeback attempt. "Yes, I was working out with K.B. to get in shape and see how my body feels," McGrady told Yahoo Sports in an email Tuesday night. Bryant and McGrady, 35, worked out three days a week for a period of time in August, several sources, including McGrady, told Yahoo. At least two NBA teams were contacted over the summer about their potential interest in McGrady, but none registered a desire to further explore the possibility, league executives told Yahoo Sports. McGrady is contractually obligated to a lucrative basketball tour of China in October, which would make it impossible for him to try and make an NBA team in training camp. McGrady is still an immensely popular figure in China, dating back to his partnership with Yao Ming on the Houston Rockets. "The comeback will not happen, unless I have the drive whenever I get back," McGrady told Yahoo in the email.

  • Michael Kaskey-Blomain of The Philadelphia Inquirer: Nerlens Noel, who will make his much-anticipated NBA debut after a season on the shelf, is figured to join Carter-Williams in the starting lineup, either at the power forward or center spot. Considering the way the Sixers are currently constructedhowever, starting Noel at power forward may be the best approach. Starting the lanky former-Wildcat at the four spot would allow the Sixers to start Henry Sims at center, and thus develop the two potential frontcourt pieces for the future through experience simultaneously. ... Starting Sims at center would mean the Noel would begin his career at the power forward spot. Noel, who is a menacing paint presence and a great rim protector, needs experience at both spots on the professional level, as he will likely be asked to play both at different points; something his length and athleticism should allow for. Playing Noel alongside another center like Sims will work to get him accustomed to what is to come with playing alongside Joel Embiid. It will also force him to work on his perimeter play and close-outs on the defensive end, adding to his overall versatility. Rookie K.J. McDaniels, and second-year shooter Hollis Thompson could join Carter-Williams, Sims, and Noel in the starting set, providing the Sixers with an athletic, and extremely young first five.

  • Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel: Jared Dudley has something to prove. So why not prove it as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks? The 29-year-old small forward arrived in Milwaukee on Tuesday and said he sees an opportunity after last week's trade sent him from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Bucks. "Going from a contender to a team that's rebuilding, to me that really doesn't matter," Dudley said. "As a professional, you've got to come in with the right mind-set and play in the right way. "The way I've conducted myself throughout the league, that will be the same thing here. This team has a lot going good for them with Jabari Parker coming in here and what he can potentially do for this franchise. That's a huge upside." Dudley referred to the No. 2 overall pick in the June draft and said he looks forward to mentoring some of the young Bucks players. But he also made it clear he wants to return to a productive level after a disappointing single season with the Clippers.

  • Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman: Do you think something will get done before the deadline? Reggie Jackson: "I’m not sure. I’m always hopeful. I’m hoping for the best, expecting the worst. That’s just how I kind of approach things. I’m just happy and blessed to be able to play basketball another day and wake up another day. Just seeing another day is a blessing. I hope to get things done. But if not, it is what it is. I can’t really dwell on it. I have to go out there and compete. That’s where I am. I have to go out there and enjoy the game and trust that my representation and us sitting down and figuring things out is hopefully going to lead to us getting something done before the deadline." In your mind, what’s it going to take to get done? Reggie Jackson: "Communication. We have to figure out things that we can do on both ends. What we envision for the organization from both ends. I’d like to play a certain way. When it’s all said and done and I hang up my jersey, hang up my shoes, I have many goals that I want to accomplish. So I think it’s going to be about what’s the vision for obtaining those goals from both parts and what’s the vision that we have moving forward."

  • Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer: Charlotte Hornets rookie Noah Vonleh had successful surgery Tuesday to treat a sports hernia and will miss the next six to eight weeks. Based on that timeline, Vonleh won’t participate in training camp at the start of next month in Asheville and will likely also miss some preseason exhibitions. ... While Vonleh showed lots of potential in Las Vegas Summer League, Hornets coach Steve Clifford has said Vonleh and shooting guard P.J. Hairston will have relatively limited roles as rookies. The Hornets have Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams available at power forward, although Zeller will likely also play some center this coming season.

  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: In the wake of losing forward Shane Battier to retirement and ESPN's broadcast booth, the Heat have added a third former Blue Devil to their training-camp roster, with a recent workout by undrafted Duke guard Andre Dawkins cementing an invitation. ... "He had about 12 or 13 teams who had expressed interest," agent John Spencer said Tuesday of Dawkins, "but we had already agreed a while back that he was going to be with them come training camp." In addition, undrafted UNLV center Khem Birch also has been invited to camp, with agent Mike George telling CSN Washington that the agreement comes with a partial guarantee. ... The addition of Birch is just the latest indication that Greg Oden will not be back with the team this coming season. Oden is a free agent.

  • Staff of The Indianapolis Star: Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert donated $1 million to Georgetown University on Tuesday. Hibbert, who played for the Hoyas from 2004-08, made the donation to the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center in honor of the school’s hall of fame basketball coach. ... The announcement comes on John Thompson Jr.’s 73rd birthday. Hibbert played for Thompson’s son, John Thompson III. Thompson Jr. coached Georgetown from 1972-99, winning 596 games. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 12. Hibbert’s contribution is part of the $62 million project that will include practice courts, meeting rooms, office, weight training and sports medicine rooms for all varsity athletes.