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Morning tip: Alan Anderson anticipates being 'through the roof'

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Morning tip: Alan Anderson anticipates being 'through the roof'

Last week, Alan Anderson seemed pretty certain that he'd play during a three game-game stretch for the Wizards out of the All-Star break but that didn't happen. 

After practicing fully and then sitting out until he practiced again Monday, the forward is more confident that he'll be able to finally appear in game for the first time this season.

"I did the whole entire practice. We'll just see how it feel (Tuesday)," said Anderson, who had left ankle surgery in October. "Hopefully I don't have too much soreness. I expect a little but not too much. We'll just go from there. Hopefully I'll give it a go."

The Wizards will shoot around this morning. If Anderson participates, it's safe to assume that he'll be activated by tip off (CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 6:30 ET).

Anderson has had two surgeries since May, after this previous team, the Brooklyn Nets, were eliminated from the postseason. The recovery process has been slow.

"It was just a little more soreness than we wanted," Anderson said of why he was held back last week. "Still a step in the right direction. The swelling is slowly going away. We just want it to where it's almost gone where I don't have to worry about it."

Usually players are eased back into the lineup on a minutes restriction but Anderson doesn't anticipate such a process. That's why the Wizards are being cautious with him.

"That's what we're trying to get through this soreness part so when we do come back I don't have any 10-, 15-minute restrictions," Anderson said. "You're playing on however the game goes."

The anticipation of what it will feel like to finally get on the court at Verizon Center is building up.

"I know I'm going to be through the roof," Anderson said. "I'm already through the roof without putting on the jersey so I already know."

MORE WIZARDS: Hornacek, Suns teammates speak about Morris's character

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

With a luxury tax bill of approximately $19 million on the way, the Washington Wizards gave themselves some salary relief on Monday by trading veteran guard Jodie Meeks to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Wizards attached a future second round pick and cash to the deal and in exchange received a future second round pick of their own, NBC Sports Washington has confirmed. ESPN first reported the news.

Though Meeks, 31, was due to make $3.45 million this season, his departure saves the Wizards about $7 million because of projected tax penalties. That's a lot of savings in a deal that got rid of a player who had become expendable.

Meeks had fallen out of favor with the Wizards for a variety of reasons. He was due to serve a 19-game suspension to begin the season due to performance-enhancing drugs. The ban was announced the day before their first round playoff series against the Raptors was set to begin in April.

Meeks also underperformed last season in the first year of his contract with the Wizards and requested a trade in February. This summer, Meeks exercised his player option to remain with the team.

The Wizards were not likely to count on Meeks much at all this season because they traded for Austin Rivers in June to add depth at the shooting guard position. Meeks' role was made clear by the fact he did not appear in any of the Wizards' four preseason games against NBA opponents.

Meeks' tenure in Washington was a significant disappointment. The Wizards signed him last summer in hopes he could shore up the shooting guard spot on their bench. 

Though he stayed healthy for the first time in years, he never earned the trust of his coaching staff. The Wizards opted to rely more heavily on starter Bradley Beal, who logged the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player last season.

Now, they are moving on.

Meeks leaving the organization should have little effect on the Wizards, though it does leave them with a hole on their roster that needs to be filled. They currently have 13 players, one below the league minimum. The Wizards now have 14 days to add a 14th player.

They could sign a free agent, convert one of their players on two-way contracts (Devin Robinson and Jordan McRae) or make a trade. The Meeks deal gives them a $3.45 million trade exception.

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Dwight Howard practices for first time with Wizards, raising likelihood he plays in opener

Dwight Howard practices for first time with Wizards, raising likelihood he plays in opener

On Monday, for the first time since 2018-19 training camp began, the Wizards were complete.

Dwight Howard, who missed three weeks due to a strained piriformis muscle, participated in his first full practice with his new team. The 32-year-old signed a free agent deal with the Wizards in July, but had yet to take the court due to the injury, which began bothering him shortly before camp began on Sept. 25.

Howard had a setback on Oct. 6 and saw a specialist in New York. He received a pain injection on Tuesday and on Saturday began shooting again.

After clearing that hurdle, he was ready to be a full-go with his new teammates.

"It felt pretty good. I really gotta catch my wind and learn some of the offense. But other than that, it felt pretty good," Howard said of Day 1.

Howard practicing on Monday gives him two more days to work with before the Wizards open their season on Thursday at home against the Miami Heat. Both he and head coach Scott Brooks say it's too early to tell if he will be available.

"We'll see how it feels. I will do everything I can to make myself available for all 82 games," Howard said.

Howard not only has to play himself into game shape, he has to develop chemistry and timing with his new teammates. He missed all five of their preseason games.

If Howard can play, that would certainly be a positive turn of events for the Wizards. As of the end of last week, it seemed highly unlikely he would be ready when the regular season began.

But Howard turned a corner and now appears to be coming along quicker than once expected. 

"It was probably our best practice of training camp," Brooks said Monday after finally getting Howard into the mix.

"He has a natural feel. His IQ was pretty high, I was impressed with that. He picked things up."

Howard signed a two-year contract worth $11 million to join the Wizards in July.

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