Report: Philadelphia to make “lucrative” offer to native son Kyle Lowry this summer

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Toronto’s Kyle Lowry is a free agent this summer, and the speculation about his future has already started. There are questions about whether the Raptors want to keep this core together — as it starts to head into luxury tax range — only to end up banging their head against the LeBron James wall in the playoffs. There are rumors that maybe Lowry wants to bolt Toronto for a better team — he said in his exit interview “I just want a ring.”

Then there’s the buzz out of Philly that Lowry would come home to lead the Sixers.

Which is kind of the opposite of going for a ring in his prime, but Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer says it could happen.

Sources have said the North Philly native has been interested in playing for the Sixers for some time. The speculation only heightened once Bryan Colangelo became the president of basketball operations in April 2016. As the Raptors general manager, Colangelo acquired Lowry in a trade from the Houston Rockets on July 11, 2012. The two have remained good friends since then.

And sources have always said that the Sixers planned to offer Lowry a lucrative contract this summer.

Never say never around the NBA.

But this is as close to never as a Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy marriage.

Lowry says a ring is the only priority, but every player says that until they have to leave millions on the table to do it (well, almost every player, David West is the most notable exception). The Spurs could sure use Lowry, but unless Pau Gasol opts out or can be traded while taking almost no money back, and then the Spurs find a way to dump at least another $5 million, San Antonio can’t get near offering max money. In reality, Lowry likely would need to take more than $10 million a year less from the Spurs than the Raptors or any other team could offer. If Lowry were actually serious about a ring San Antonio would be the best fit, there is no other team in the East that could offer him a max deal and he would make them a contender.

If Lowry is going to be about the money, then he likely stays in Toronto — they can offer one more guaranteed year, the difference between $205 million guaranteed (over five years) vs. $158 million (over four years). Plus he’s comfortable there, GM Masai Ujiri said bringing Lowry back is a priority, and this team is good.

In the unlikely event Toronto tried to get Lowry to take a discount and pissed him off, then the Spurs decide they don’t want to get involved, all the Sixers would need to do is beat out a bunch of other suitors and convince Lowry to come home again… except not every player wants to do that. LeBron James did but he’s more the exception than the rule, most players see coming home as a series of added distractions and problems.

Maybe Lowry is an exception and is serious about potentially coming home. But that leads to one other question:

Why would Philly do this? I know they want some veteran leaders and quality players to start rounding out the young roster, but if you’ve been saying for a year that Ben Simmons as a point forward is the future of this franchise — and if nothing else, they have to try it out — then why bring in an established point guard to take the ball out of his hands? Lowry would be mentoring the next generation of Sixers and likely putting up numbers, but is that his goal at this point in his career?

Never say never, but I just do not see a return home for Lowry working out.

Watch Stephen Curry make fun of Klay Thompson’s 360 dunk fail in China

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By now we have all seen Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson brick that dunk attempt in China, right?

Here is the link to the video if you haven’t seen it.

Well, teammate Stephen Curry was also in China this week and decided to do a little mocking of Thompson’s missed dunk for the crowd.

It was all in good fun, and of course we all know about the Warriors team culture. Glad that Curry and Thompson can jab at each other like this.

Pistons sign Luis Montero to two-way contract

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) 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.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

LeBron James reportedly so frustrated with Kyrie Irving he is “tempted to beat his ass”

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Anyone else getting weary of the spin wars between the Kyrie Irving and LeBron James camps?

Irving thinks LeBron and his camp leaked the trade report and are trying to drag his good name through the mud. LeBron  — the man who led the way in teaching other players they should take control of their destiny and where they play — is angry that a player took control of his how destiny and is about to leave him high and dry. Right now both sides are trying to control the story — does Irving really envy Damian Lillard and John Wall‘s roles over his own, or is that spin? —  while fans come up with trade proposals. (No, a Kyrie for Carmelo Anthony trade is not happening.)

About the only thing that is clear is that this relationship is beyond repair. As evidence, we bring you the latest bit of spin, this from Stephen A. Smith’s “sources” as he spelled out on his radio show, (those sources are almost certainly are in the LeBron camp).

The full quote was: “If Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass.”

I imagine if they were face-to-face right now it would look like every other NBA “fight” — they would push each other then make sure other guys jumped between them and held them apart so they could jaw but not actually have to throw a punch.

And yes, I know it’s Smith and we should take what he says with a full box of Morton’s Kosher Salt, but he illustrates a point:

Right now, the fight between Kyrie and LeBron is the sides trying to control the narrative.

No doubt LeBron is frustrated, he is in the legacy building part of his career and the Cavaliers were the consensus best team in the East with a shot at a ring next season. No Kyrie — almost no matter who Cleveland gets back in a trade — means the Cavs take a step back (while the Warriors and every other team in contention got better).  LeBron feels hurt and a little betrayed and is spinning that.

Irving is within his rights to ask out. There are certainly a variety of reasons he wants out, but at the top of the list is he wanted to control his own destiny before LeBron left next summer (probably) and Kyrie was left as the star on a team built to go around LeBron. Not that Cleveland did anything wrong, that is exactly the kind of team the Cavaliers should have built, LeBron will go down as an All-Time top 5 player, and this team brought Cleveland its first ring in 54 years. That doesn’t mean Irving can’t read the writing on the wall and want out.

For now, the drama will not stop between these two — nor will the spinning.

Timberwolves put out “0 for 30” video featuring Dave Chappelle missing a lot of jumpers

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The Minnesota Timberwolves are doing some work on their home arena, the Target Center, and it just so happens they had a special brick layer that got them started in 2013.

That extra helper was none other than comedian Dave Chappelle.

The team released a video on their social media platforms this week featuring Chappelle taking a bunch of jumpers on their floor in 2013. With a shot form somewhere between Shawn Marion and Stephen Curry, Chappelle wasn’t exactly a long range gunner.

Via Twitter:

I mean, it seems a little ridiculous to put up a video of the guy from four years ago hitting bricks and equating that to helping you remodel your home arena, but I feel like Chappelle can probably take it.

Either way, good work by the social team over in Minnesota.