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NBA Notes: Derrick Rose, Cavs reach agreement on 1-year deal

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NBA Notes: Derrick Rose, Cavs reach agreement on 1-year deal

CLEVELAND -- For the moment, the Cavaliers have one content, proven point guard.

Free agent Derrick Rose agreed Monday to sign with Cleveland, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. Rose, a former NBA MVP who has struggled with knee injuries, will get a one-year contract at the veteran's minimum of $2.1 million, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the agreement.

The deal is expected to be finalized and announced Tuesday.

Rose played for the New York Knicks last season and averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists. The 28-year-old Rose's role with the Cavs is still to be determined. He could be used as a backup or even start depending on what the team does with All-Star Kyrie Irving, who recently asked for a trade.

Irving's demands have complicated things for the defending Eastern Conference champions, who were beaten by Golden State in the Finals. They'll certainly find interest in Irving, but it may be challenging to find comparable talent in return.

That's where Rose comes in. If healthy, Rose is a dynamic scorer capable of taking over a game, and paired with LeBron James, he could be even more dangerous (see full story).

Spurs: Gasol signs 3-year deal
SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs have signed Pau Gasol to a three-year contract.

The Spurs announced the signing on Monday. Gasol opted out of the two-year deal he signed last summer to give the Spurs more salary cap flexibility to supplement the roster in free agency. But he always intended to re-sign with San Antonio, where he averaged 12.4 points and 7.8 rebounds in just over 25 minutes per game last season.

Gasol played 64 games, filling a starting role and coming off the bench for a team that won 61 games and lost to Golden State in the Western Conference finals.

Gasol's help allowed the Spurs to add Rudy Gay and Brandon Paul in free agency.

Cavaliers: Altman officially named full-time GM
CLEVELAND -- Koby Altman's summer job has turned into something permanent.

The Cavaliers, who have had a bumpy few weeks since losing in the NBA Finals, named Altman their full-time general manager on Monday. Altman's promotion had been expected for days and is a reward for the 34-year-old, who has been serving as Cleveland's interim GM this summer after David Griffin parted ways with the club.

Altman came to Cleveland in 2012 and was promoted to Griffin's assistant last summer after the Cavs won the championship. He will be the fifth GM for owner Dan Gilbert since 2005.

Gilbert said he's been impressed with the job Altman -- and other members of Cleveland's front office -- have done over the past five weeks.

"Koby Altman has led our front office group through this transition period, impressing many inside the franchise and outside the organization, as well," Gilbert said in a statement. "We are very excited that he will now be officially leading the basketball side of our franchise. Koby has the credentials, knowledge, experience and instincts to be an outstanding general manager. In addition to these positive attributes and outstanding relationships around the league, Koby will inspire and impact the best possible culture throughout the organization" (see full story).

Pistons: Montego inks 2-way contract
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons have signed Luis Montero to a two-way contract.

The team announced the deal Monday. The 6-foot-7 Montero played 49 games last season for the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Reno Bighorns of the NBA G League. He played in 12 NBA games with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2015-16, averaging 1.2 points, 0.3 rebounds and 0.1 assists.

NBA teams are allowed two two-way players on their roster at any time, in addition to the 15-man, regular-season roster.

Jimmy Butler-only observations for his Sixers debut

Jimmy Butler-only observations for his Sixers debut

Jimmy Butler’s debut didn’t end the way he would’ve liked, but he showed flashes of why Elton Brand made the move.

He finished with 14 points (6 of 12) in the Sixers’ 111-106 loss to the Magic Wednesday (see non-Butler observations).

Here are a few observations from Butler’s performance to hold you over before our film review Thursday.

• Early on it looked like Butler was really just trying to let the game come to him, which makes sense in his first game with the team. 

He was perhaps a little too unselfish on the Sixers’ first possession of the game. They ran him off a double screen with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid and it looked like Butler had a mid-range jumper that he passed up.

But he was doing a lot of the little things that maybe not every star player does. He moved well away from the ball and was engaged even when the offensive set wasn’t meant for him.

• His first bucket was a thing of beauty. Butler and Embiid ran the two-man game much like Embiid and JJ Redick do. Embiid faked the dribble handoff and Butler made a great cut to the basket to get the easy bucket.

This is something Brett Brown will surely be taking a long look at. Keep in mind, Brown has basically had one shootaround to get Butler acclimated. As the season goes, he’ll learn what works well for Butler and the rest of the team.

• The diversity of Butler’s offensive game is impressive and it was on full display. He’s outstanding in the mid-range …

He’s also so strong finishing around the basket. You can also see how his ability to create shots is going to help the Sixers.

This play where he splits the defenders and finishes is as pretty as it gets.

• Butler has made the NBA’s All-Defensive first team four times and it’s easy to see why. Butler is so much fun to watch on defense. 

He has such quick feet and awareness. You can see how uncomfortable he makes offensive players with the pressure he puts on them. His recovery speed when he cheats in the passing lanes is also really impressive.

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Magic 111, Sixers 106: Joel Embiid has career first but Sixers lose in Jimmy Butler's debut

Magic 111, Sixers 106: Joel Embiid has career first but Sixers lose in Jimmy Butler's debut

This isn't the debut the Sixers wanted for Jimmy Butler.

The Sixers had a huge third quarter only to allow a 21-0 run in the fourth in a 111-106 loss to the Magic in Orlando Wednesday.

Here are observations from the brutal loss.

You can find Butler-only observations here. 

• Butler flashed a few of the reasons why Elton Brand acquired him. He made shots from the mid-range, moved well without the ball and played excellent defense. He finished with 14 points (6 of 11) in 33 minutes.

We’ll have more on Butler’s debut shortly but here's his first bucket, which came off a great cut and two-man game with Embiid.

• Joel Embiid was cooking early. He was his usual dominant self in the first half and had his best overall game of the season, recording his first career triple-double with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and a career-high 10 assists. He did so while only turning the ball over twice. He's doing an oustanding job of understanding defenses and double teams and it's made him even more dangerous.

He had a rough second half scoring wise, going 1 of 10 with just three points, but it appears that even with Butler, Embiid will be a serious MVP candidate. 

• It looks like Redick has shaken off his early-season shooting slump. With the Magic coming out hot early, Redick played a big part in keeping the Sixers in the game in the first half. The two-man game with Embiid and Redick is lethal.

He also took this ridiculous three to get the Sixers a 2-for-1 at the end of the third ... and he let the Sixers' bench know.

He finished with 22 points on 8 of 13 from the field and 4 of 7 from three. He made a three that would've tied the game with under ten seconds left but he stepped out of bounds before making the shot.

• You have to give Fultz a ton of credit. After he threw up the oddest free throw maybe ever on Monday night in Miami, he came back and made a confident mid-range jumper on his first look of the game.

Though he was taken out of the starting lineup, he still got 21 minutes and had eight points on 4 of 6 from the field.

• Wilson Chandler started at the four and made his presence felt. This is the most spry the 31-year-old combo forward has looked this season after starting the season on the shelf with a hamstring injury.

He had 14 points.

• Ben Simmons had one of his quietest games of the season. He finished with just nine points, six assists and three rebounds. He did make two huge free throws late in the fourth quarter.

• Former Sixer Nikola Vucevic continues to haunt his old team. He finished with 30 points.

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