The Toronto Raptors do not want to lose Kyle Lowry — he was their second leading scorer at 17.9 points a game, he dished out 7.4 assists a game, grabbed almost five rebounds, and he did it all very efficiently (true shooting percentage of .567 and a team-high PER of 20.1). Plus he played good defense and his attitude in the locker room was improved (at least for a contract year).
A number of other teams want him for those same reasons — Miami, Houston, the Los Angeles Lakers and others are reportedly targeting him.
So the Raptors are going to make an early run when free agency opens at midnight to head those other teams off, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.
Expect Toronto GM Masai Ujiri to make aggressive bid to keep Kyle Lowry at midnight, try to wrap up deal before Miami/Houston can engage.
The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.
So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?
“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”
“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”
“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”
Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.
And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.
Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?
LeBron James dunks, struts past camerapeople and toward crowd, spooks fan (video)
NEW YORK (AP) — Derrick Rose is missing the New York Knicks’ game against Cleveland because of lower back pain.
Rose left the Knicks’ victory over Miami on Tuesday in the third quarter with back spasms. Coach Jeff Hornacek says Rose still felt sore on Wednesday when he came in and met with team doctors, so they sent him for an MRI exam to make sure there was no structural damage.
Rose is averaging 16.7 points and this is the first game he’s missed this season.