We're less than one month away from training camps opening across the NBA for the 2012-13 season, and it seems every team across the league still has some internal shuffling to do.
Some franchises are eager to fill rosters, others praying stars return from injury, and one is simply debuting new uniforms. Luckily for fans across the league that means there is a wide array of news and rumors flying through the NBA spectrum.
However, with football season beginning and baseball pennant races concluding, it's not the easiest time to keep up with the NBA.
For that reason, here's a look at the latest rumblings going around the Association.
With the middle shored up following Brooklyn's one-year, non-guaranteed agreement with forward-center Andray Blatche, the franchise's focus has shifted out on the wings.
And according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets' first move in their small forward search will be working out veterans Dominic McGuire and Josh Childress next week.
Brooklyn plans to conduct a free agent workout with forwards Dominic McGuire and Josh Childress early next week, league sources tell Y!
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) September 7, 2012
With ESPN New York's Mike Mazzeo reporting that the Nets are done handing out guaranteed deals, it seems that Childress is the more likely fit here. The 29-year-old swingman is still due for $21 million of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver's cash over the next three years, making him far more likely to take a non-guaranteed deal than McGuire.
Since coming back over from Greece in 2010, Childress has struggled to recapture the promise of his first NBA run. The former Stanford Cardinal played in just 34 games last season and averaged career lows in points (2.9) and minutes (14.4) with the Suns.
Regardless, at a non-guaranteed minimum salary deal, he's well worth the risk.
Ricky Rubio to Return From Injury in December?
Speaking with Sport.Es, the Minnesota Timberwolves point guard, whose scintillating rookie season was cut 25 games short by an ACL tear, said he could return to the court earlier than initially expected.
"I'm eager to start running, and I think in December I would be ready to play," Rubio said to Sport.Es (translation via Google Translate).
Considering Rubio's injury came on March 9, a return in December would give the guard just nine months of recovery time. That's not out of the realm of possibilities, as proven by the recent returns by NFL running backs Adrian Peterson and Rashard Mendenhall following their ACL tears.
Nevertheless, it's best for the Timberwolves to tread as lightly as humanly possible with Rubio here. Though Rubio's body may feel ready by December, knee injuries are notoriously tricky for basketball players. Recent history has seen more than one promising career go down from returning too soon (e.g. Gilbert Arenas).
If Rubio is 100 percent, let the young star rise. But if there is even one inclination that he's coming back too soon, the team will need to shut him down to protect its future investment.
Justin Timberlake to Become Part Owner of Memphis Grizzlies?
For new owners of sports franchises, it seems that token celebrity ownership has become the norm for ingratiating yourself to the community.
Most famous among those owners is music mogul Jay-Z, who was at the forefront of the Nets move to Brooklyn and even designed the team's new logo.
Well it seems that Robert Pera, the prospective new owner of the Memphis Grizzlies, has taken a glimpse of what Jay-Z has meant to Brooklyn and will try to capture that excitement with actor/singer Justin Timberlake.
Via ESPN's Marc Stein:
Sources told ESPN.com that Timberlake and Pera have quickly struck up a friendship, with one source adding that the singer/actor is making "a meaningful investment into the team" and "plans to be active" with the Grizzlies. The league office, sources said, has been made aware of Timberlake's proposed involvement and is already well acquainted with him after inviting the self-proclaimed basketball junkie to participate in various celebrity games at All-Star Weekend.
As always is the case in these situations, Timberlake will likely own a small sliver of the franchise. But the impact he'll bring in name value and franchise notoriety should make this a worthwhile deal for both parties.