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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.

With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

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With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

The Sixers will have two No. 1 overall picks make their NBA debuts on Wednesday night in Markelle Fultz (2017) and Ben Simmons (2016). They are in for a challenge with the Wizards, one of the best teams in basketball, and with guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Wall and Beal know that challenge well. They were both top draft picks in their own right, Wall the first pick in 2010 and Beal the third pick in 2012. They can recall in specifics their first games in the NBA and how humbling they were.

"My first game, I was going against Dwight Howard. It was fun," Wall said. "There was a lot of pressure. There were a lot of people talking."

It's often said that the point guard position is as deep as it's ever been nowadays. The last three MVP awards have gone to point guards, for instance.

There were some good ones back in 2010, too.

"I remember in a five-game span I played like [Rajon] Rondo, Derrick Rose here and then I went out west and played Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Russell [Westbrook]," Wall said. "I don't think it's gotten any harder than it was back then in 2010 with those five guys. You kind of understand what those guys are about when you get to see it firsthand and play against them."

Beal vividly remembers going up against the LeBron James-led Miami Heat as a 19-year-old. It wasn't easy.

"It was the Heat when they had [Dwyane Wade] and LeBron on the same team. That's when D-Wade was electrifying. He still had his quickness. He was strong as I don't know what and I was a baby at that time," he said.

"For me, it was like I was in awe because those are the guys I grew up watching and I was a fan of. Now I'm playing against them and I can't be a fan of them. It was amazing to play against them, but also an eye-opener like, I need to get better."

Now it's Fultz and Simmons' turn to see what matching up with NBA superstars is like and don't expect Wall or Beal to take it easy on them.

"I'm a competitive person, so I'm not going to back down from any challenge," Wall said.

Joel Embiid to start Sixers' season opener, but how much will he play?

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Joel Embiid to start Sixers' season opener, but how much will he play?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first starting lineup of the Sixers' 2017-18 season will be Ben Simmons, Jerryd Bayless, JJ Redick, Robert Covington and Joel Embiid.

Brown is sticking with the group that closed out preseason competition. That group has a balance of veterans and young talent, including Simmons making his NBA debut after missing all of last season with a foot injury.

"It helps a lot (starting together in the preseason) because you're learning guys and how they move and how they play," Simmons said. "I think we have a pretty good connection going into tonight's game and it's only going to get better."

Embiid will be under a minutes restriction but Brown does not have a definitive number. The big man previously said he expected to play 16 minutes. Embiid was the last one to leave the court at the conclusion of shootaround. 

"There's a range that we'll work with," Brown said. "We're going to feel it together. We'll play Joel within some parameters and go from that base." 

Markelle Fultz also will make his NBA debut. The No. 1 pick, who has battled right knee and shoulder soreness, will come off the bench in front of his hometown crowd. 

"I'm excited," Fultz said. "It's anything you can wish for."