Kyle Lowry

Report: Raptors more interested in moving Lowry than Calderon

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On paper Jose Calderon seems like a prime trade piece for Toronto — 11.1 points and 7.4 assists per game, shooting 43.4 percent from three, he is solid and plays smart, plus he is in the final year of a $10 million contract.

But that’s not the point guard they are looking to move, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com (part of a longer article about the Lakers options).

And while Jose Calderon has frequently been mentioned as trade bait, league sources say the Raptors are far more amenable to trading Kyle Lowry, who has not made many friends in his new surroundings….

Kyle Lowry, who has quickly worn out his welcome in Toronto, could be an option for the Mavs or Hawks, who are both in need of point-guard help. With only $1 million guaranteed next season, Lowry would be a short-term fix without clogging up future cap space.

Where Calderon is calculated and more of a classic point guard, Lowry attacks with abandon. Too much abandon for Toronto’s taste on the court, plus as Berger mentioned there are no shortage of stories about him just not fitting in the locker room there. Lowry is set to make $6.2 million next year but can be bought out by July 15 for just $1 million.

Which means look for Lowry to end up moved before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.

76ers increase Joel Embiid’s minute limit to 28

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, left, tries to get around Cleveland Cavaliers' DeAndre Liggins, center, and Kevin Love during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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Take comfort, chairs and staffers.

The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.

Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:

This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.

Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.

The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.

This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.

James Johnson dunks on Rudy Gobert in crunch time (video)

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Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.

But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.

Nicolas Batum bounces assist through Dwight Powell’s legs (video)

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The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.

Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson floors Malcolm Brogdon with crossover (video)

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To be fair, Malcolm Brogdon was already off-balance before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson began his crossover.

To be real, DID YOU SEE BROGDON FALL OVER?