Lowry staying put
Kyle Lowry said he wants to finish what he started in Toronto so he’s staying put. Lowry announced on The Players’ Tribune site Sunday that he will re-sign with the Raptors. The deal is a three-year contract worth $100 million, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. 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. So Toronto’s star-powered backcourt is now set for at least the next three years, after shooting guard DeMar DeRozan got a five-year deal worth $139 million last summer. Lowry and DeRozan led Toronto to the Eastern Conference finals in 2016.
TORONTO — Kyle Lowry said he wants to finish what he started in Toronto, and he made that clear Sunday.
Lowry announced on The Players’ Tribune site that he will re-sign with the Raptors, adding that it was an easy decision. Lowry will sign a three-year deal worth $100 million, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms were not revealed publicly.
“It was up to me to decide whether this thing we have — is it worth sticking around for, and running it back again, and seeing if we can take that next step?” Lowry wrote. “And like I said — to me, that was an easy decision. The answer is yes.”
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.
“If you’re looking for people to believe in, choose the people who believed in you first,” Lowry said. “And if you start something, man, you finish it.”
So Toronto’s star-powered backcourt is now set for at least the next three years, after shooting guard DeMar DeRozan got a fiveyear deal worth $139 million last summer.
Lowry and DeRozan led Toronto to the Eastern Conference finals in 2016, and the Raptors were out in the second round this year in part because Lowry got hurt during the postseason.
“I don’t think we’ve reached our true potential,” Lowry said.
Lowry was one of the most-coveted point guards on the market this summer, perhaps only behind Golden State’s Stephen Curry. And he’s going back to a team that has posted consecutive 50-victory seasons and reached the playoffs in each of the past four years.
“I’m coming back to Toronto because my heart is telling me that it’s home,” said Lowry, noting that he still hasn’t had poutine — a wildly popular dish in Canada.
When Toronto got Ibaka before the trade deadline last season, the Raptors made it clear they had no intentions of letting him walk away this summer in free agency.
Now that’s been proven after Ibaka agreed to terms on a three-year contract worth $65 million. The deal cannot be signed until the NBA’s offseason moratorium ends on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Ibaka was traded to Toronto from Orlando late last season. He averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 23 games with the Raptors.
“His style of play fits our style of play,” Raptors Coach Dwane Casey said when the trade was made.
Toronto clearly hasn’t changed its thinking.
Ibaka is one of only 13 players in NBA history to make 100 three-pointers and record 100 blocks in the same season. He did it last season, along with Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis and Brook Lopez.
He was acquired in exchange for Terrence Ross and a first-round draft pick — a big price that would have looked even bigger if the Raptors had lost Ibaka for nothing this summer.
Entering his ninth NBA season, Ibaka has career averages of 12 points and 7.3 rebounds. Ibaka spent his first seven NBA seasons in Oklahoma City, helping the Thunder reach the 2012 NBA Finals against Miami.
CAVALIERS Korver gets 3-year deal
CLEVELAND — Shooting guard Kyle Korver will be back with Cleveland after the two sides agreed on a three-year, $22 million contract Sunday. A league source confirmed the terms of the deal, which includes a partial guarantee in the third year.
Korver, 36, ranked first in the league in three-point percentage (.451) last season. Acquired in a January trade with Atlanta, he averaged 10.1 points in 26.2 minutes for the two teams. In the playoffs, he averaged 5.8 points and shot .391 from beyond the arc.
The Cavaliers made Korver an offer shortly after the opening of the free agency period at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. Contracts can’t be officially signed until Thursday.
Cleveland retained Korver’s Bird rights in the trade, which cost the Cavaliers a protected first-round pick, meaning they could exceed the salary cap to sign him. But Bobby Marks of ESPN reported Sunday that the Korver contract will increase the team’s luxury tax bill from $20.4 million to $42.7 million for next season.
At this point, they will have 12 players under contract Thursday after they reached agreement on a oneyear deal with Jose Calderon on Saturday to become the backup point guard.
Gibson on the move
MINNEAPOLIS — A person with knowledge of the negotiations says Taj Gibson is reuniting with Minnesota Coach Tom Thibodeau, agreeing on a two-year, $28 million deal to join the Timberwolves.
Gibson 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.
Toronto guard Kyle Lowry elected to stay with the Raptors after agreeing to a three-year contract worth $100 million, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations who spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday.