Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Updated: May 24, 4:31 PM ET
Andrew Bynum to have procedure
By Dave McMenamin
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum made it through the season healthy for the first time in years and has scheduled his offseason plans around making sure he stays that way.
Bynum told reporters Wednesday he will travel to Germany in September to undergo Orthokine therapy, the same procedure Kobe Bryant underwent last offseason from the innovator of the treatment, Dr. Peter Wehling.
"He just told me it helped him out," Bynum said of Bryant's advice after his exit interview with Lakers coach Mike Brown and general manager Mitch Kupchak.
Bynum said he could undergo the treatment on both of his knees, depending on the results of an MRI he will have done in the coming months.
"Nothing feels wrong," Bynum said. "It's supposed to regenerate tissue and stuff like that, so I want to check that out."
The procedure involves doctors taking the patient's own blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to make a serum and then injecting it into the knee.
Bynum, 24, averaged career highs of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds along with 1.9 blocks per game as he was named an All-Star for the first time in his seven-year career.
He said he hoped he will be not only returning healthy next season, but returning to the same team.
"I take every day that I'm in L.A. as a good one," Bynum said. "I don't want to go anywhere and hopefully if I keep elevating my play, I won't have to."
Bynum has a $16.1 million team option for next season that the Lakers must make a decision on by June 30. Lakers executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss told ESPNLosAngeles.com last month that the team intends to exercise the option.
There also is the possibility the Lakers will try to negotiate a contract extension with Bynum in the offseason, but the 7-footer said those discussions have not started yet.
"I'll definitely entertain the conversation, but I'm not seeking it," Bynum said. "I'm not reaching out."
While Bynum isn't going to be the one to make the first move, he made it clear he does not want to play out his contract next season and test free agency in summer 2013.
"I can assure you, I'm not waiting because I want to go somewhere," Bynum said. "That's for sure."
Despite saying he was willing to play anywhere, noting that being the subject of trade rumors is a positive because it means that teams consider you valuable, Bynum reiterated his desire to stay in L.A.
"You want to play hard so that you don't have to shake your life up, you don't have to be traded and move and do all these other things," Bynum said.
Bynum's frontcourt partner, Pau Gasol, is in the same boat. Gasol said Wednesday he wants to remain a Laker, but he was well aware that the approximately $38 million he is owed over the next two seasons could make him a candidate to be moved.
"I wish I could have clarification, but they can't give it to me right now," Gasol said. "I think management still has to talk to ownership to see what direction this team will be going next year."
Gasol, nearly traded on the eve of training camp as part of a three-team deal with Houston and New Orleans that would have made Chris Paul a Laker and him a Rocket, said he was prepared to deal with the uneasiness of his future.
"I won't really worry too much about it," Gasol said. "It's something that I've been through already this year so if something does happen, it does and if it doesn't, I'll be happy to be back next training camp ready to go."
Like Bynum, Gasol is going overseas this offseason but for a much different reason. He will be playing for the Spanish national team in the Olympics trying to avenge the loss Spain had to Kobe Bryant and Team USA in the gold-medal game in Beijing in 2008.
"I'd love to get another shot at the gold against Kobe and the USA team or somebody else," Gasol said. "Obviously, the gold medal is our goal and we'll do our best to try to win it."