First Cup: Tuesday

  • John Mitchell of The Philadelphia Inquirer: New Sixers center Andrew Bynum will head to Germany in early September to have the same experimental procedure on his knee that Kobe Bryant, Grant Hill and Alex Rodriguez have undergone, according to a West Coast source with knowledge of the situation. Bynum has had surgery on both of his knees. It is unknown whether the procedure will be performed on the one knee or both. According to the source, Bynum’s knees are fine and the procedure is non- surgical. The procedure, known as Orthokine/Regenokine, will be performed by Dr. Peter Wehling. Bryant initially underwent the procedure to prevent the inevitable wearing down of his knee cartilage. The procedure is a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP. The procedure, which is not yet performed in the United States, is less invasive than many, if not all, other forms of knee surgeries presently used. ... According to the source, Bynum is not feeling any pain in his knees. However, the center wants to explore any options that will help to prolong the healthy status of his knees. According to the source, Bynum was so impressed with the results that Bryant experienced last season that he agreed that exploring the procedure was a viable option.

  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: The Rockets reached agreement with Bucks free agent guard/forward Carlos Delfino, a person with knowledge of the deal said Monday. Delfino will sign a two-year contract, with the second season at the team’s option. Delfino averaged nine points and 3.4 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per game with the Bucks last season . A seven-year veteran, his top scoring seasons were his first two seasons in Milwaukee when Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson was an assistant on Scott Skiles’ staff. A backup for all but six games in his first four NBA seasons with the Pistons and Raptors, he started 159 games in his three seasons with the Bucks. Delfino, 29, is coming off a strong showing in the Olympics this month, averaging 15.2 points and 3.8 rebounds for Argentina.

  • Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times: Phil Jackson's take on the Lakers will emerge in the next few months, though. Jeanie Buss, Lakers executive vice president and Jackson's longtime companion, said his book titled "Eleven Rings" likely will come out next April. Jackson's lastbook about the Lakers, titled "The Last Season," drew noticeable attention for his brutal honesty about his time as the team's head coach during the 2003-04 campaign. He called Kobe Bryant "uncoachable," and asked General Manager Mitch Kupchak to trade him. Jackson detailed the extent of the Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal feud. He even explained what led to his departure after the Lakers lost in the 2004 NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons. Will this become a worthy followup? The Lakers have always presented a never-ending soap opera, but there's now one key figure missing that helped contribute to it. "Phil is always a quotable guy," Buss said with a smile. "He keeps everyone entertained. But I haven't read any part of the book. I have no idea what will be interesting or not. But he never fails to get everyone to think about different subjects."

  • Iliana Limón Romero of the Orlando Sentinel: Orlando Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins told fans the franchise did everything possible to hold on to disgruntled All-Star center Dwight Howard. "We had extensive conversations in regard to his future in Orlando, exhausting all possible options," Martins wrote about Howard in a letter emailed to Magic season ticket holders Monday afternoon. "At the end of the day, we were not able to receive a commitment from him beyond this season." Howard was part of a four-team trade that shipped the Magic's marquee player to the Los Angeles Lakers. He is slated to become a free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season. Howard's agent, Dan Fegan, said the center would not contract extension with any NBA teams.

  • Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press: Looking at basketball from a stats perspective, website Basketball Prospectus stays away from traditional thinking and provides analysis for signings and trades. Brad Doolittle, a contributor for the site, recently picked a team from players who weren't with Team USA in London. Pistons big man Greg Monroe made the team, which Doolittle says is a virtual equal of the Olympic team. Doolittle wrote: "A codicil to that is the glaring omission of Greg Monroe, especially given the glut of injuries to American big men. (Andrew) Bynum would be a no-brainer, but he opted to sit out international competition. That was probably a wise choice given his history of knee trouble. However, Monroe was willing and able to compete but didn't even land a spot on the Select Team. Meanwhile, rookie Anthony Davis is on Team USA without having logged a single NBA minute. Being that Monroe already projects as one of the rising stars in the NBA and he's voiced displeasure for his Team USA snub, this may turn out to be a good omen for Pistons fans. He'll be on a mission."

  • Tim Bontemps of the New York Post: Don’t crown them just yet. Yes, the Nets have had a terrific offseason, one of the best in the NBA. They retained the face of the franchise, Deron Williams, traded for six-time All-Star Joe Johnson, added some nice depth to their bench in Mirza Teletovic, Reggie Evans and C.J. Watson and re-signed Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. But for those fans who already think this is the best team that the Nets’ stars have played on, as several have already tweeted at me, they need to think again. ... The most important thing for the Nets, though, is that they’re entering Brooklyn with this kind of topic being a legitimate one to discuss. Two months ago, it seemed entirely possible that they could move across the Hudson without a star to anchor the team in their new home. Now, they have arguably the best backcourt in the league, have a chance to be one of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference and can stand toe-to-toe with the Knicks in the Battle for New York. Not a bad way to start a new era for the franchise.

  • Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News: Even more than the Lakers and Thunder, the Spurs’ biggest enemy, as always, is time. Retirement looms on the near horizon for Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, at which point they’ll finally be forced to embark on the rebuilding job management has done so well to stave off in recent years. The additions of Nash and especially Howard should only accelerate that process, with both addressing major holes for the Lakers — namely, playmaking, outside shooting, consistent interior defense and athleticism.

  • Barry Horn and Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News: On Dwight Howard getting traded to the Lakers: Fraley: “He’s a clown. I think the Mavericks are better off without the guy. He’s a very good center but how many real centers are there right now? Five or six. He has one move, a dunk. He doesn’t make his free throws, gets 30 technicals a year, causes problems in the locker room, and causes turmoil in the front office. No, they don’t need this guy.” ... Horn: “I think he’ll be an asset on their team. I think he’s on the right team. I don’t think they’ll let what happened in Orlando happen in LA… I think he’ll help that team. I think the Mavericks would be better off with him than without him.”

  • Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune: Before forward Ryan Anderson joined New Orleans July 11 via a sign-and-trade, the Jazz were involved in talks to acquire the former Orlando sharpshooter, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned. ... For a time, the Jazz rivaled New Orleans as a potential destination for Anderson. Utah entered free agency targeting the wing position and in desperate need of outside shooting — the Jazz ranked 28th out of 30 teams in average made 3s last season and 27th in shooting percentage. To acquire Anderson, Utah likely would have been forced to give up power forward Paul Millsap. While the Jazz were interested in Anderson and considered making the deal, Utah ultimately backed off. Anderson was later sent to New Orleans, and the Jazz addressed their perimeter needs by signing unrestricted free agent guard Randy Foye on July 23. Utah also traded for small forward Marvin Williams during early July.

  • Jon Murray of The Indianapolis Star: The Capital Improvement Board this afternoon approved a 2013 budget that includes no payment to the Indiana Pacers to offset operating costs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The CIB, which oversees the city’s sports and convention facilities, is early in negotiations with the Pacers for a potential new agreement to replace a deal that had paid the team $10 million a year. The current three-year, $30 million deal to help the team pay for running the fieldhouse expires next June, and the final payment already has gone out. The upshot of the CIB’s $63.9 million proposed operating budget for next year is that any new agreement with the Pacers, when inked, would need separate approval by the council. That would include finding money to pay for it, possibly by tapping into CIB reserves, as was done last year.

  • Staff of the Detroit Free Press: Like several other Pistons, backup point guard Will Bynum held a basketball camp recently. The three-day camp, held in Bynum's hometown at Chicago Whitney Young High, was an invitation-only event in which Bynum focused on life skills as well as basketball know-how. "Not only am I giving back to the community, but what I'm also giving back is knowledge and the values that it takes to be successful in whatever you're trying to do," Bynum told NBC Chicago. "A lot of these kids, they don't understand that everything is a craft, and they don't know the steps that it takes for them to become whatever it is they want to become. So I'm just trying to instill my personal values inside of them, the ones that helped me to get to where I am today." Each day of the camp, topics of discussion included proper etiquette, public speaking, the importance of a balanced diet and anti-bullying messages. Campers also were asked to sign a nonviolence pledge.