Free agent guard Kyle Lowry has reached agreement on a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the Toronto Raptors, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The deal has an early termination option allowing Lowry the opportunity to become a free agent after the third season.
That’s fantastic value for the Raptors. Signing him to just $12 million per year, they’ll have flexibility in coming seasons to continue upgrading the team.
Most importantly, they’ll have Lowry. Their best player, he should keep the Raptors a challenger in the East.
As for Lowry, he gets more long-term security than he’s ever had in his sometimes turbulent career. Perhaps, he could have drawn more money from another team, but there’s clearly a comfort level in Toronto.
Plus, if he wants to seek a larger deal – especially possible if the salary cap jumps with the new television contract – he can in just three years. Technically, the contract can’t contain an early termination option for the fourth season. (Those are allowed only for the fifth season.) However, a player option is permissible and offers the same de facto functionality.
Meanwhile, the Heat must identify another dream candidate.
DeMarcus Cousins says Mavericks’ rumored interest flatters him, but he loves Kings
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.