Rockets waive Brooks, Delfino
The Houston Rockets waived point guard Aaron Brooks and swingman Carlos Delfino before the start of free agency.
Brooks, 28, is a graduate of Franklin High School in Seattle who played college ball at Oregon. He has averaged 11.6 points in 325 career NBA games and has played for Phoenix and Sacramento in addition to Houston.
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The Daily News of New York reported the New York Knicks are prime candidates to sign Brooks.
Delfino, 30, averaged 10.6 points last season, his first with the Rockets after spending the previous three seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Houston cleared salary-cap space with the moves. Teams were able to contact free agents starting at 9:01 p.m. PDT Sunday and the Rockets were the first team meeting with center Dwight Howard.
Howard, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, is perhaps the most prominent player available in free agency.
According to multiple media reports, point guard Chris Paul’s representatives are telling teams the free agent will re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Report: Knicks seek Bargnani
With little flexibility to upgrade their roster in free agency, the New York Knicks agreed on a deal to acquire Andrea Bargnani, the Toronto Raptors’ 7-footer, a person involved in the talks told The New York Times.
The Knicks reportedly offered a package of Marcus Camby, Steve Novak and a first-round draft pick in 2016. The league did not immediately approve the trade but both teams reportedly expect to complete a modified version soon.
The 27-year-old Bargnani, who has averaged 15.2 points in seven seasons, is owed $22.25 million over the next two seasons.
Thibault gets 211th victory
Ivory Latta scored 15 points to help the Washington Mystics beat the Tulsa Shock 84-61. The Mystics (5-6) won by more than 20 points for the first time since an 87-62 victory over Tulsa in 2010.
Mystics coach Mike Thibault has 211 victories and needs one more to surpass ex-Houston Comets coach Van Chancellor for the most in WNBA history. Thibault’s previous jobs include being a college men’s assistant coach at Saint Martin’s in Lacey and a Sonics scout.
In another league game, Tiffany Hayes scored 19 points and Angel McCoughtry added 15 points and nine assists as host Atlanta routed the San Antonio Silver Stars 93-67 to extend their winning streak to six games. The Dream has a league-best 10-1 record.
Wimbledon takes on odd look
The second Monday of Wimbledon is usually the most star-studded day in tennis, with all 16 men’s and women’s fourth-round singles matches being played.
But after a wild first week at the All England Club, Super Monday will be, in the words of top-ranked Novak Djokovic, “a bit strange.”
Roger Federer is not here, missing from the second week of a major for the first time in nine years. Rafael Nadal is not here for the second consecutive year. Maria Sharapova is not here. Neither is Victoria Azarenka.
Of the 20 top-ranked players — the top 10 men and women — a mere nine are still around, but four players outside the top 100 are in the second week. Four men and two women playing Monday are in the fourth round at a major for the first time.
No. 2 Andy Murray, No. 20 Mikhail Youzhny and No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz are the only seeds left in the bottom half of the men’s draw, and Murray and Youzhny play each other Monday.
“There’s some players who have been playing great tennis,” Djokovic said. “I think it’s interesting also to see new faces for the crowd.”
Mathieu shelves his nickname
Arizona Cardinals rookie Tyrann Mathieu has dumped his “Honey Badger” nickname because it is associated with a period of his life he would rather forget.
But if defensive back Mathieu can stay out of trouble, if he can put the advice he received last week at the NFL Rookie Symposium to use, he might be willing to embrace the “Honey Badger” moniker again.
“I don’t know if he’s going to come back this fall,” Mathieu said when asked if he would revive the “Honey Badger”nickname. “I really don’t know. But right now, I’m happy being Tyrann. Tyrann is a fun guy, and I’m just ready to play some ball.”
Could the nickname ever have a positive connotation?
“I think so, but I think it’s going to take some time, just because ‘Honey Badger’ happened at such a bad time, a time where I wasn’t making the best decisions,” said Mathieu, a former standout at Louisiana State.
After becoming a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011 as a cornerback and punt returner, Mathieu was dismissed from the LSU program in August after reportedly failing multiple drug tests. In October, he and three former LSU players were arrested for marijuana possession.
Mathieu entered a drug-rehabilitation program and has been trying to rebuild his image.
• Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria sprinted to victory in the 200 meters in 22.55 seconds in the Birmingham Grand Prix track-and-field meet in England.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time Olympic champion in the 100 from Jamaica, was second in 22.72. U.S. runner Carmelita Jeter, the world 200 champion, was seventh.
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