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Reports: Toronto Raptors re-sign Kyle Lowry to three-year, $100 million deal

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Kyle Lowry is remaining a member of the Toronto Raptors.

News broke on Sunday that Lowry would re-sign with the Raptors for a reported three years and $100 million. The news seemed to follow the signing of Serge Ibaka, who inked a deal with Toronto earlier on Sunday morning for a reported three years and $65 million.

Lowry, 31, had several reported suitors, including the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers. Minnesota traded Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz on Friday, and signed Jeff Teague once free agency opened on July 1.

The 76ers meanwhile had already drafted Markelle Fultz, likely pushing the opportunity for Lowry out of mind. The Sixers signed J.J. Redick to a whopping $23 million, one-year deal on Saturday.

Lowry is coming off of one of his best offensive seasons of his career, even if it was a bit of a dip from his spectacular 2015-16 campaign. Keeping Lowry in Toronto was obviously a huge priority for Masai Ujiri, and now that the deal is done we will have to see what other moves Toronto makes.

Via Twitter:

With Ibaka and Lowry now signed, it seems as though some kind of trade will have to be made with the contracts on the roster. Particularly, DeMarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas, who eat up a whopping $30 million of space in 2017-18.

Toronto will also reportedly try to move backup point guard Cory Joseph, so it’s unclear about what their bench roster will look like moving forward. Toronto had an opportunity to grab the one seed in a down year for the Eastern Conference this last season, but failed to do so. With their main stars paid and a core going forward, it will be interesting to see how they flesh themselves out.

On one hand, the East has gotten significantly worse with the trade of Paul George and Jimmy Butler to Western Conference teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers don’t yet have a general manager, and we still aren’t sure at this juncture whether Gordon Hayward or anyone else will be coming to Boston.

While a locked up core doesn’t make the Raptors any better over last year — and a depleted role player unit doesn’t help them — it’s not as though their opponents are doing much in the meantime. Getting Lowry locked down was an obvious choice for Toronto and there’s no doubt fans in Canada will be happy to see him return.

Lowry helped make his own announcement with an essay over at The Players’ Tribune.

Shaq doesn’t want LeBron James to chase rings to close his career

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Shaquille O’Neal was a dominant NBA center, playing with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat.

He was also a ring chaser.

At the end of his career, O’Neal decided to switch between teams, including the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics. It was an open and futile effort to beat his rival and former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant in number of championships won.

After they retired, O’Neal finished with four championships to Bryant’s five.

Now, as Cavaliers star LeBron James starts to wrap up his own career, Shaq says that James should not follow in his footsteps. Specifically, O’Neal said that he thinks LeBron’s story has already been written, and that he should not try to chase rings elsewhere.

Via ESPN:

“Somebody told me a long time ago — they said your book is already set [before the later stages of your career]. You can add index pages toward the end, but your book is already set. So LeBron’s book is already set,” O’Neal said. “He done already passed up legends; he done already made his mark — he has three rings

I think I tend to agree with O’Neal on this point. Specifically, because the only thing that LeBron could do to boost his resume would be to win multiple championships, consecutively, to close his career. He would need to surpass Michael Jordan at six rings, and approach Bill Russell with 11.

I don’t particularly think that LeBron is trying to ring chase. He’s just trying to get with one good team to close his career (or the Lakers). I don’t think we will ever see LeBron skip around from team to team the way that O’Neal did in the twilight of his playing career.

We’re launching the PBT Mailbag, so what questions do you want answered?

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The 2017-18 NBA season is over, and the Golden State Warriors are champions once again. What that means the offseason is here, and for many fans that is the best time of the year. The summer in the NBA the past few years has given us some incredible stories. For many, this past postseason was rather boring, and the outcome was all but decided.

And so it is time to dig into our postseason favorites, starting with the 2018 NBA Draft. We here at Pro Basketball Talk would like to announce the start of our weekly mail bag, which will run each week on Wednesday mornings.

The first of mailbag will run this Wednesday, the day before the draft. Questions can be submitted via Twitter or by sending us an email directly at pbtmailbag@gmail.com.

The draft is obviously the big focus for many fans as we approach this next week, and much about the situation for many teams heading up into the event in Brooklyn is murky. If you have a burning question about the draft, now is the time to ask it.

Of course, you are encouraged to ask any kind of question you want to hear about from the Pro Basketball Talk crew such as:

  • Where is LeBron going?
  • Is a hotdog a sandwich?
  • Has Nick Young put his shirt back on yet?
  • Will Jordan Bell run out of Hennessy ever again?
  • Where will Kawhi Leonard play next season?

All of these questions are fair game, and more.

We are looking forward to the kind of queries you need answered on a weekly basis as we roll through the summer in anticipation for the start of the 2018-19 NBA season.

Report: Cavaliers have made calls to Spurs about Kawhi Leonard

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We still don’t know where San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will end up playing at the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season.

The former NBA Finals MVP reportedly wants to head to Los Angeles, apparently to play for the Lakers. However, there are other teams in the mix for Leonard, and the Spurs themselves want to try to keep him and mend the relationship.

One intriguing team for Leonard is the Cleveland Cavaliers, who reportedly have made calls to San Antonio about landing their star. According to Cleveland.com writer Terry Pluto, the Cavs have made it known they are interested in Leonard.

It’s not clear whether that call was simple due diligence, a whack at trying to entice LeBron James to stay, or a long shot way to replace James if he decides to leave this summer.

The Cavaliers are hilariously over the cap for next season, and don’t have much to offer the Spurs that they’d likely want. The best player on the roster that helps match most of Leonard’s salary is Kevin Love, who already plays the position occupied by LaMarcus Aldridge.

Cleveland does have the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, but that’s not enough to snag Leonard. If the Cavaliers had a realistic shot at getting Leonard, it would likely need to be in the form of a three-team deal with another party that has a need for Love.

NBA trades can be weird, and this summer is wrapping up to be a special one. However, Cleveland grabbing Leonard from San Antonio is still a long shot.

NBA players celebrate Father’s Day on social media

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Sunday was Father’s Day in the United States, and as such several players around the league decided to share their feelings on the national day of appreciation.

Many got together with their kids or with their fathers, posting photos and giving us a nice little peek into the family lives of some of the league’s players.

Some guys, like Baron Davis and Jameer Nelson, sent out messages wishing well to those whose fathers had passed on.

Via Instagram and Twitter:

Make sure you appreciate your pops today.