First Cup: Wednesday

  • Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel: Center Larry Sanders has signed his contract extension with the Bucks, general manager John Hammond confirmed Tuesday. Sanders and the Bucks reached agreement on a four-year, $44 million deal on Friday, with only final details to be settled. The contract will run through the 2017-'18 season. The 24-year-old Sanders will make $3 million next season in the final year of his rookie-scale contract but will be paid $11 million per year during the extension. "By combining his God-given ability with hard work and determination, Larry has developed into one of the top defensive players in the league," Hammond said. "He is a very important part of what we are doing in Milwaukee, and we're excited to announce his contract extension." Sanders was a reserve during his first seasons in the NBA but became the Bucks' starting center last season, averaging 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots (ranking second in the league).

  • Staff of the Detroit Free Press: Pistons second-year center Andre Drummond told pistons.com that he’s making sure the team’s three 2013 draft picks are coming to Auburn Hills for summer workouts. “Last year, I was here real early,” Drummond said. “I’m like, ‘You guys need to get here early. Just because you made it to the league, don’t think you can come back when all the veterans come back.’ ” So expect to see plenty of guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Peyton Siva and big man Tony Mitchell at the Palace before training camp begins in six weeks. Siva apparently felt winded after his first workout. “And I told him, ‘It’s only going to get worse. As soon as training camp comes, it’s running times 10,’ ” Drummond said. “So I’m glad to have him out here with me, and the other rookies will be here soon, too.”

  • Bob Young of The Arizona Republic: More than two weeks have passed since Suns forward Michael Beasley was arrested by Scottsdale police on suspicion of possessing marijuana, and thesilence coming from US Airways Center is deafening. The Suns still have not addressed what they plan to do with Beasley or even acknowledged his latest troubles, which came on the heels of a report that Scottsdale police are investigating a sexual-assault allegation against Beasley. Messages left Tuesday with Managing Partner Robert Sarver, President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby and General Manager Ryan McDonough went unanswered. Maybe there’s just nothing left to be said, except this: Babby and his former GM Lance Blanks made an $18 million mistake. Now, the Suns are going to have to eat all but $3 million of what remains of it, and the only question is whether they want to take their medicine in small doses or hold their nose and get it over with in a couple of big gulps.

  • Howard Beck of The New York Times: NBA players will elect a new union president Wednesday, the first tangible step in rebuilding an organization racked by dysfunction, infighting and scandal. It has been six months since the players fired Billy Hunter, the longtime executive director, amid charges of nepotism and abuse of union resources — allegations that are also the subject of a federal investigation. Hunter has countered with a wrongful-termination lawsuit that accuses Derek Fisher, the current union president, of conspiring with league officials during the 2011 lockout. Against that backdrop, union leaders have been quietly working to rebuild their association from within, while still dealing with the fallout from Hunter’s messy tenure and sagging morale at the union’s Harlem offices. It could be another six months before the union names a new executive director. But the transition in leadership will officially begin Wednesday in Las Vegas, where players will elect a successor to Fisher, whose term is expiring. Roger Mason Jr., a 32-year-old guard, is the lone announced candidate for the job, and it appears likely he will run unopposed. Mason, who has served four years as a vice president, said he had the full endorsement of his fellow executive committee members.

  • Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News: How close he came to retiring over the offseason: Manu Ginobili: By the end of the season — and I mean the regular season and not the playoffs — I thought about it a lot. I was so tired of it. I hadn’t suffered a muscle strain in my whole life and I went through three in four months. I felt negative, fed up. And I thought about retiring. I hadn’t come close to making up my mind but I thought it was something I had to discuss with my wife, “what if …?” She told me that it was my decision and she was fine either way. But when I recovered physically I started to feel better about it all. When the season ended I grieved for 48, 72 hours and I didn’t feel retired. I knew something was missing, that I still wanted to play. The criticism he got during the playoffs, something he’s rarely experienced during his career: Manu Ginobili: Strange. You usually read things in the newspaper or hear them through other people. But during the playoffs, for example, I’m isolated, bulletproof. I don’t read anything, don’t watch highlights, nothing. At first those criticisms didn’t reach me, I only had to deal with my own. I knew how I was playing and what I can give the team. But when I started to get questions in a specific tone, that’s when I realized: “Something must be happening. I’m being criticized. Otherwise, they wouldn’t ask me that.” I started to realize that they were saying I wasn’t playing at my level and it was weird. Especially in the playoffs. It had happened in other times of the season, when I was injured and they were saying that it wasn’t the same, that the best of Ginobili was in the past. This time it was during the playoffs. It was weird and it hurt. Because I have a well-developed ego and, like I said, I was always proud to say I never under-performed in the playoffs. I had that credibility in my career. So when that happened this season, it hurt.

  • Nick Mathews of the Houston Chronicle: “I was ready to invigorate the entire city of Houston. I was supposed to save Houston basketball.” Those were words from Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin in front of 20,000 people at a “Dream Big, Be Yourself” youth conference in Taipei, Taiwan. Lin talked about his frustrations in his first year with the Rockets. Not frustrations about being replaced as the face of the Rockets — once the team signed superstar James Harden — but frustrations about failing to meet expectations by coaches, fans and himself. “I became so obsessed with becoming a great basketball player … trying to be Linsanity, being this phenomenon that took the NBA by storm,” Lin told the audience. “The coaches were losing faith in me, basketball fans were making fun of me.” Lin later told the group that he feels better now because he’s no longer seeking the approval of others.

  • Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe: Former Celtics forward Walter McCarty will rejoin the team as an assistant coach, a league source confirmed to the Globe Tuesday night. With the addition of McCarty, a 6-foot-10-inch forward who played for the Celtics from 1997 to 2005, to new head coach Brad Stevens's staff, Stevens, who has no NBA experience, gains the valuable perspective of an ex-NBA player that should help ease Stevens's transition into the league. McCarty is also a product of the Kentucky Wildcats, as is Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. A league source had previously told the Globe that the Celtics were looking to add a staff member "who can bond with Rondo, someone he can relate to and trust." … Stevens, a former star coach at Butler University who at 36 is now the youngest coach in the NBA, appears to have his coaching staff with the Celtics finalized. It includes Jay Larranaga and Jamie Young, who were with the staff last season; Ron Adams, Micah Shrewsberry and McCarty, all new hires.

  • Tim Bontemps of the New York Post: The Nets announced a series of hires Tuesday to round out Jason Kidd’s coaching staff. John Welch, Joe Prunty and Charles Klask were added to Kidd’s staff, and the team hired Jim Sann as an advance scout. In addition, Doug Overton — who had been on the coaching staff — has been named the head coach of the Nets’ D-League affiliate, the Springfield Armor. Kidd’s coaching staff stands at six, with the three new names to go alongside Lawrence Frank, Roy Rogers and Eric Hughes. Welch’s hire has been a formality since summer league, where he was an active presence on the bench. He spent the last eight seasons as an assistant coach under George Karl in Denver.

  • Staff of The Salt Lake Tribune: Justin Zanik was officially hired Tuesday by the Utah Jazz as assistant general manager. A player agent since 2003, Zanik is known for expertise on the collective bargaining agreement and European game. His impending hiring was first reported last week by ESPN.com. Zanik, who served as vice president of ASM Sports since 2004 and represented players including Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka, will officially join the Jazz on Sept. 1. Assistant GM is a new position in the Jazz front office . "He is a high-character individual with a strong work ethic," GM Dennis Lindsey said in a statement, "and will be a tremendous addition to the Jazz basketball operations staff. I am very happy to welcome Justin, his wife, Gina, and their children to the Jazz family."

  • Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee: Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles. That was a surprise. Chris Hansen throwing up his dirty hands and shoveling $100,000 worth of anti-arena mud at Sacramento's proposed sports and entertainment complex? Sleazy. Petulant. Testosterone-driven. Not a surprise. Remember what I said a few months back about bullies? This was like beaning Alex Rodriguez with a fastball when he has his back turned and is walking toward the dugout. One cheap trick often leads to another, even among billionaires. … Maybe this will all be forgotten by the time the NBA entertains expansion. Maybe the league extracts a pound of flesh ($$$) from Hansen by increasing the expansion fee. Whatever. Hansen is Seattle's problem now. Hopefully, he just stays away.