NBA Notes: Kyle Lowry announces he's staying with Raptors

NBA Notes: Kyle Lowry announces he's staying with Raptors

Kyle Lowry is staying home.

Lowry announced on The Players' Tribune site Sunday that he will re-sign with the Toronto Raptors, adding that it was an easy decision.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that Lowry's deal is worth $100 million over three years. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither Lowry nor the team publicly revealed those details.

The three-time All-Star averaged 22.4 points and 7.0 assists last season for the Raptors, who also struck a deal to retain forward Serge Ibaka earlier Sunday to a $65 million, three-year deal.

Lowry says: "I'm coming back to Toronto because my heart is telling me that it's home."

Raptors: Ibaka reportedly staying in Toronto
A person familiar with the negotiations says Serge Ibaka is staying with the Toronto Raptors, agreeing to terms on a 3-year, $65 million deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Sunday on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be finalized until next week.

Keeping the 6-foot-10 Ibaka was an obvious priority for the Raptors, who are also in talks to retain All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry.

Ibaka, 27, was traded to Toronto from Orlando late last season. He averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 23 games with the Raptors.

Entering his ninth NBA season, Ibaka has career averages of 12 points and 7.3 rebounds.

Rockets: Nene reportedly agrees to deal
The Houston Rockets and Nene have a contract -- again.

A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Rockets agreed to terms with Nene on a three-year deal worth $11 million. It comes one day after an initial agreement fell apart because it violated rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The person requested anonymity Sunday because a contract cannot be signed until Thursday.

Nene initially agreed to a four-year, $15 million deal. But the deal violated a rule for players who will be 38 during the contract and so Nene became a free agent again.

But Nene's interior presence was critical for the Rockets, who have also agreed to terms with P.J. Tucker to add some toughness to a high-scoring roster.

ESPN first reported the new deal.

Cavaliers: Korver to remain in Cleveland
A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to terms with shooter Kyle Korver on a three-year, $22 million contract.

The Cavaliers reached agreement with Korver on Sunday. The person spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because a contract cannot be signed until the moratorium ends on Thursday.

Korver joined the Cavs midway through last season in a trade from Atlanta. The 36-year-old is one of the league's best outside shooters and made it clear he wanted to stay with Cleveland after making it to his first NBA Finals.

Korver led the league in 3-point percentage (45) and averaged 10.8 points in 35 games for the Cavs.

Timberwolves: Free-agent Gibson reportedly agrees to deal
MINNEAPOLIS  -- A person with knowledge of the negotiations says Taj Gibson is reuniting with coach Tom Thibodeau, agreeing on a two-year, $28 million deal to join the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Sunday on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be finalized until the NBA's moratorium ends Thursday.

Gibson has spent the bulk of his career in Chicago, including five seasons under Thibodeau. The Bulls traded him to Oklahoma City late last season.

For his career, Gibson has averaged 9.4 points and 6.3 rebounds. In Minnesota, he'll be a new addition along with another former Bulls teammate -- Jimmy Butler, who was traded to the Timberwolves last month.

New Eagles DE Michael Bennett gets taste of Philly fans

Photo courtesy of Jessica Camerato

New Eagles DE Michael Bennett gets taste of Philly fans

It didn’t take long for Michael Bennett to get acclimated with Philadelphia fans beyond football.

Bennett attended the Sixers' 108-94 win Hornets Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center (see observations). Donning a green sweatshirt, the newly-acquired defensive end received a rousing ovation when he was introduced on the Jumbotron. 

He wasn’t the only Eagles player sitting courtside. Safety Malcolm Jenkins watched the game across from the Hornets’ bench. 

Fans yelled loudly when Bennett stopped by to take a seat next to Jenkins. 

“You’re a monster!” one called out. 

“Mi-chael Ben-net!” another chanted. 

Bennett and Jenkins took photos and even held phones to snap selfies, not just once but throughout the game between quarters and during timeouts.

Sixers catch fire from 3-point range in win over Hornets

Sixers catch fire from 3-point range in win over Hornets


The Hornets put up a fight before the Sixers locked in for a 108-94 win Monday at the Wells Fargo Center. 

The Sixers’ 14-point victory was closer than the final score reflects. They trailed the Hornets by as much as seven and went through 11 lead changes and six ties. The Hornets overcame a 4-for-21 shooting performance in the third quarter to tie the game halfway through the fourth before the Sixers pulled ahead for their 39th win of the season (39-30). The Hornets fell to 30-41.

• The Sixers signed Marco Belinelli with the vision of him being a JJ Redick-type player in the second unit. The veteran got hot in this game, scoring 21 points off the bench. Belinelli shot 5 for 9 from three in 24 minutes. Overall, the Sixers drained 18 shots from distance on 44 attempts (40.9 percent).

• Ben Simmons posted his ninth triple-double of the season (11 points, 12 rebounds, 15 assists, zero turnovers), ironically just hours after pointing out the wear and tear of the NBA schedule is catching up. Before the game, he said the team has been “kind of mentally fatigued.” 

“It's just frustrating,” Simmons said. “Missing plays or just messing up on the floor, turnovers, rebounds that you should have gotten, it's just the little things that kind of get under your skin.”

• In the battle of the bigs, Joel Embiid emerged on top with 25 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks. (He also committed nine turnovers). Dwight Howard (10 points, four rebounds) and Amir Johnson (five points, one three-pointer, seven rebounds) were involved in a throwback big man matchup, circa 2005. Both centers were drafted straight out of high school. The Sixers had the advantage on the boards, 60-40. 

• Justin Anderson earned first-quarter minutes after a solid showing in the Sixers’ previous game. He finished with seven points, four boards and two assists in 20 minutes. Dario Saric, who's been a reliable offensive contributor, scored just five points. 

• Kemba Walker bounced back from his offensive struggles in the previous matchup between the two teams to lead the Hornets with 24 points, eight rebounds and six dimes. 

• Nicolas Batum (left Achilles soreness) did not play. The Hornets missed his 11.9 points, 5.5 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game. 

• Eagles Michael Bennett and Malcolm Jenkins took in the action.