NBA Central: According to @Chris Haynes, Kyle Lowry to …

More on Kyle Lowry Free Agency

Jordan Schultz: The #Heat really like the idea of reuniting Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan (MLE) according to league sources - with one saying a S-T (Dragic) is the preferable choice to acquire Lowry. Both Kyle and DeMar have maintained a great friendship since playing together w/the #Raptors.
New Orleans has prioritized Lowry, as has Dallas, per sources, while the Knicks and 76ers—the latter of which has been internally discussing sign-and-trade scenarios—will be in the mix. Lowry will be expensive: Team execs expect Lowry to command anywhere from $25-30 million per year on a three-year deal.
The Miami Heat are positioning themselves to become front-runners to land Kyle Lowry in a sign-and-trade agreement once discussions are permitted to begin with the opening of NBA free agency on Monday, sources told ESPN. Lowry has long been intrigued with joining Heat star Jimmy Butler and the Miami organization, and now Miami has maneuvered to have two key elements of a possible sign-and-trade package -- guard Goran Dragic and forward Precious Achiuwa -- to offer the Raptors once talks can ensue at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, sources said.
Lowry, 35, made $30 million in the final year of his contract and is seeking a deal in a similar neighborhood of starting annual salary over multiple years with his new team, sources said. New Orleans and Dallas are two teams with salary cap space and strong interest in Lowry who are beginning to search elsewhere for starting point guard help, sources said.
Marc Stein: As momentum builds toward Kyle Lowry landing with Miami when free agency officially opens Monday at 6 PM ET and its own hopes for striking a sign-and-trade deal with the Heat dimming, Dallas has shifted its focus from Lowry to other free-agent targets, league sources say
Barry Jackson: As we and others have written, and the great Woj reiterated today, Lowry remains Heat high priority target. Looms as Heat/Pelicans/Mavericks battle, with Knicks and 76ers also potentially in play. The decision to exercise Dragic option suggests Toronto might be OK taking him back
Bobby Marks: Mentioned this on @SportsCenter this morning. The decision of Kyle Lowry has huge consequences for the rest of the league. pic.twitter.com/Whtrts7h5k

http://twitter.com/BobbyMarks42/status/1421902328190414850
Zach Lowe: Miami and Lowry have been linked for a long time now, per sources. (Lowry of course has drawn interest from many teams all year.) Feels like Lowry is going to be the first major domino given New Orleans space and all the point guards in free agency.
Adrian Wojnarowski: As the Miami Heat create salary cap space, Toronto free agent guard Kyle Lowry remains a firm target in free agency, sources tell ESPN. Miami has more levers to pull to create space to sign Lowry outright -- or can still endeavor to work a sign-and-trade with the Raptors.
Tim Reynolds: It's now Sunday in the US, meaning free agency starts tomorrow there, so it's probably time to say this: Per source, when it comes to Kyle Lowry, the Miami Heat "have his attention and have had it for a while." Buckle up, kids.
Yet while New Orleans has gained momentum toward landing Lowry, the race for his services still does consist of several suitors. Miami and Dallas are expected to aggressively pursue the All-Star point guard, sources said, as Lowry's close relationship with Heat centerpiece Jimmy Butler is often mentioned among league personnel.
From everything I’ve been told, they are going to pursue Kawhi Leonard and then, once the door is slammed in their face, pivot to a hard pursuit of Lowry. I think he makes sense for them as a target because he couldn’t possibly fit better, and the worry about his age isn’t as strong for me because the Mavs plus Lowry are plausibly good enough to contend … especially in a West with no obvious front-runner.
David Griffin hopes to make a huge offer to veteran free agent point guard Kyle Lowry, sources say, in an effort to import the type of leadership that Chris Paul brought to the Suns last year in morphing them into contenders. Green fits with that plan. He and Suns coach Monty Williams are deeply aligned and have the same relationship-based approach to coaching. Williams and Green were teammates in Philadelphia 18 years ago, then Green played for Williams in New Orleans a decade ago.
The Dallas Mavericks' post-draft focus, sources say, will be the pursuit of Kyle Lowry (along with Miami, New Orleans and Philadelphia) and their bid to re-sign Tim Hardaway Jr. Dallas was initially expected to wait and see if Kawhi Leonard gave any indication that he was open to leaving the Clippers, but the Mavericks have moved off of those plans.
However, the speculation is the Pels have the opposite plan in mind: That they want to pursue Toronto guard Kyle Lowry in free agency, and now have the ammunition to outbid anybody if need be. (Sources also tell The Athletic the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat will be major suitors for Lowry, with Dallas trying to clear more room to give itself a leg up).
New Orleans' deal appears directly engineered as a way to clear salary-cap space for an aggressive offer for Kyle Lowry in free agency. The Lakers, Sixers, Mavericks and Heat all remain linked by league sources as potential Lowry suitors, which will be just one element of a cluttered point guard market. It's believed New Orleans, like each other team just mentioned, would have its sights set on Spencer Dinwiddie should Lowry choose to play elsewhere. The spinning of that point guard carousel will surely impact the landing spots for Lonzo Ball and Dennis Schroder, too.
The Heat, New Orleans, Dallas, the Knicks, Philadelphia and the Lakers are all believed to have interest. And Lowry would have interest in each of those teams at the right dollar amount, according to a source briefed on his plans. A return to Toronto is considered much less likely, according to the source.
The source said Lowry holds the Heat in high regard — and is close with Jimmy Butler — but isn’t necessarily inclined to accept less from Miami if one of those other teams offers more. Speaking in general after the season, Lowry said he would like to be positioned to win another championship but added: “Money talks, and years talk; let’s be real. … At the end of the day, I want to make sure my family is taken care of for generations.”
Miami’s other option would be working out a sign-and-trade with Toronto, but it’s questionable if the sides can agree on compensation. The Heat remains reluctant to include Herro in a sign-and-trade for Lowry, according to a source.
It’s iffy if the Raptors would be willing to take Nunn in such a deal; one source did not believe Toronto had considerable interest in the impending Heat free agent. Nunn also would need to agree to sign with Toronto in that scenario.
A league source said the Sixers have expressed interest in acquiring Lowry. However, the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, and Miami Heat are also reportedly expected to be top suitors.
Regarding the Pelicans, opposing teams expect New Orleans to explore ways to shed salary in pursuit of a veteran. Kyle Lowry is one player on New Orleans’ radar, sources confirm.
“It’s a very average free-agent group for unrestricted free agents,” said one Western Conference executive. “For example, there is no KD or a Giannis. The best guys are DeRozan, Lowly and Conley. But if some guys opt out of their contracts and become unrestricted free agents, then that changes things.”
The first option for the seven-time NBA champion is Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors whom the Lakers failed to acquire before the trade deadline this past season. “It’s going to be hard because of that salary cap for them to get a veteran guard,” Horry said on ESPN’s The Jump. “You talk about CP3, I don’t think he’ going to give up all that money to go to the Lakers. And you talk about Westbrook. It’s too much money. “You got to think about. The Lakers aren’t going to do that. If you’re going to look for a guard, you got to go with someone like Kyle Lowry. I know they didn’t get him in the trade but maybe you can sweet talk him and say ‘Yo man, we can give you whatever we can, come play for us, let’s win a championship. You only got one, dog. One ring don’t really count anybody, you gotta get two or more so come play with us with the Lakers.’
Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe were two guys that some executives I had spoken to around the league felt could be tradeable guys for New Orleans. If you’re going to try to offer Lowry the type of money he’s looking for in free agency, they have to move one of those guys… The interest in Lowry makes sense for New Orleans trying to get better. I don’t think he’s this Chris Paul type of player who can elevate them to where the Suns were as a championship contender, but he’d certainly make them better for the short term.
Marc Stein: There is rising buzz New Orleans plans to enter the race for free agent-to-be Kyle Lowry, league sources say. There will be several Lowry suitors but it's clear why the Pels, desperate to help Zion Williamson reach the playoffs, would want in. More NBA: subscribe to Marc Stein's NBA Newsletter.
This is the strongest market ever for former Grizzlies point guards. As with Mike Conley below, age will be a factor: Kyle Lowry is 35, so we’re probably looking at a two-year deal in the $50 million range.
The scout said that the ideal person to run the Sixers offense is Kyle Lowry, who made $30.5 million for Toronto last season and will be entering free agency. The scout said he doesn’t feel Lowry is a $30 million-type player at age 35, but that he can still be highly effective if he came to the Sixers. Lowry is from Philadelphia, starring at Cardinal Dougherty and then Villanova before beginning a 15-year NBA career that has included an NBA championship in 2019 with the Raptors and six All-Star appearances. “I would move heaven and earth to try to bring him home,” the scout said of Lowry. “He would be a natural for this team, a strong leader, and somebody who could take over the ballhandling load.”
In the past, sources said Lowry — a Philadelphia guy who played at Villanova — wanted to be a Knick. He’s 35, an NBA champion and still can bring shotmaking and playmaking. Don’t discount Lowry re-signing, unless the Raptors draft Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs. One league executive said giving more than a one-year guarantee at max money makes for a risk at age 35. “He’s better suited for a title contender — and that’s not the Knicks,’’ one personnel man said.
Nick Nurse on Kyle Lowry's free agency: “He still puts his body on the line. He still guards hard. He still scores, his numbers are good, his shooting percentages are good. And he's a tremendous talent. I hope we keep him. I think he's part of our core.”
“Everyone’s gonna have their own opinion,” Lowry said. “And it’s a good story for people to write and to have fun with. But we’ll see what happens. No one knows what the future holds. No one knows what comes with the next day. We all just have to live it every day and every moment. And that’s important, to just take it day by day and minute by minute, hour by hour, and live our lives like that. But it’s a cool story to write for people. I just hope they make me look really cool.”
The other major decision facing the Raptors this offseason is attempting to retain star free agent Kyle Lowry, the team's longest-tenured player and one of the driving forces behind its 2019 title. Ujiri said that decision will be made, in part, on what direction Toronto looks to go as an organization this offseason. "It just depends on what we are doing," Ujiri said. "When we evaluate this, we are evaluating in many ways. One of the ways we have looked at is giving the young guys even more opportunity and building the future rather than now. We have to look at the organization that way.
Kyle Lowry is among the point guards on the Knicks' radar for the 2021 offseason, SNY has learned. Lowry will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. He will likely command multi-year offers from several teams, but his future in Toronto is unclear due to the uncertainty over the future direction of the franchise.
Prior to the 2021 trade deadline, the Raptors had discussions with several teams – including the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat – about trades involving Lowry. The Heat have long been linked to Lowry, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Miami pursued the 35-year-old in free agency.
Lowry not getting traded at the March 25 deadline was quite a surprise, but it wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of the Toronto front office. But as team president Masai Ujiri made clear back then, the Raptors still have an incredibly high opinion of Lowry and his game that — as they saw it — wasn’t properly reflected in the offers that came their way. Yet among the three teams known to be in hot pursuit of Lowry back then — the Lakers, Miami and Philadelphia — only the Heat are in a financial position to possibly sign Lowry outright this summer. Sources say the Sixers still plan on pursuing him by way of a possible sign-and-trade. While they added George Hill at the deadline in lieu of Lowry, only $1.2 million of his $10 million salary for next season is guaranteed, and the deal expires at that point. The Lowry interest remains very strong there.
If it doesn’t work out with Oladipo, the Heat could pivot back to Lowry. League sources said if Lowry had been traded, his preference was the Heat because of his close friendship with Jimmy Butler. The Heat can realistically create about $26 million in space while retaining the restricted free-agent rights to Robinson and Kendrick Nunn, if the salary cap is $112 million as currently projected.
Oleh Kosel: Brian Windhorst on The Jump says it's unclear if Pelicans can afford to keep Lonzo Ball due to other financial commitments but to watch Knicks, Heat and Raptors. Zo, Schroder & Lowry are "to be the subject of a bidding war amongst the teams that need a point guard this summer."
The home, owned by KL7 Inc., a nod to Lowry’s uniform number, was put on the market about a month ago, only days before the Raptors announced they’ll play the remainder of their 72-game schedule in Tampa, Fla., where they’ve been playing “home” games at Amalie Arena since the season began in December. Currently playing out the final year of his contract, Lowry’s NBA future remains uncertain.
All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry understands why Kawhi Leonard would leave for the Los Angeles Clippers, but the longtime leader of the Toronto Raptors has no desire to bolt Canada. "I want to be there -- I would love to do a long extension, but we'll see what happens," Lowry said. "I'm here for USA Basketball and (to) support the guys and be around the group. I would love to be there long term, but we'll have that discussion when the time is right."
Eric Smith: Lowry says he's "all in" with the Raptors; wants to take the organization, city, and country to new levels.
Kyle Lowry: But for me, at the end of the day, this was an easy decision. And all of those roads … they all led me back to the same place: home. They all led me back to Toronto. When I got here, five years ago, there was a lot of rebuilding talk. A lot of, Man, this roster, I don’t know … the Raptors gotta blow it up. These experts, I think they wanted us to trade this, waive that, tank this, draft that. That was most of the talk surrounding our franchise. And I was definitely one of the names being included in that talk.
Kyle Lowry: I’m coming back to Toronto because my heart is telling me that it’s home — and because staying home, for me and my family, feels like the right thing to do. My heart is telling me that this is the best city in the world, with the best basketball fans in the world. It’s telling me that the Raptors can be a championship-level team, sooner than later. And I’ll be honest (and don’t hate) — it’s telling me that I’ve still never had poutine.
“I could definitely see myself re-signing with the Lakers,” Robinson said. “Business-wise, family-wise and basketball-wise, it makes sense for me. I have a lot of things going for me out here – there are so many opportunities and resources and people I connected with in Los Angeles who helped me. With my family, we were able to get comfortable. It would mean a lot to just stay put here.
Jeff Zillgitt: Growing sense among NBA executives that Kyle Lowry will return to Raptors. Don't be surprised if deal is three years, approx $27M per season
Alex Kennedy: With the Eastern Conference seemingly getting weaker, rival executives currently believe Toronto may re-sign Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.
Leo Beas: Per sources, The Sacramento Kings are very interested in signing Kyle Lowry as free agency approaches. It would require a max contract.
Alex Kennedy: Add the Mavericks to the list of teams pursuing Kyle Lowry, per source. Lowry would help Dallas compete now and he'd mentor Dennis Smith Jr.
Butler was already “in the ear” of Kyle Lowry about joining him in Chicago, and—according to SiriusXM’s Mitch Lawrence—Butler is continuing to recruit Lowry to the Timberwolves. “[Butler] has talked to Kyle Lowry through their Team USA association about coming to Chicago. “Now I heard he’s working on him about coming to Minnesota.”
DeMar DeRozan has made it clear that he won't try to influence the free-agency decision of friend and All-Star backcourt mate, Kyle Lowry, but the All-NBA shooting guard does have one request for Lowry - just give him a heads up first. "As long as he tells me, and I don't have to read it, I'm completely fine with it," DeRozan told theScore on Wednesday, when asked how he'd react to the worst-case scenario of Lowry departing Toronto. "If he comes to me as a man and tells me it's time to move on, I'll respect it. It's just the choices in life we have to deal with. You're kind of more accepting when somebody close to you like that tells you before they do something, so you're not surprised just like everybody else. As a friend - me calling myself his friend - I have to just respect it."
That said, the Raptors don’t want to use more resources than required. They have sent signals in the past that they are reluctant to offer a guaranteed fifth year to a point guard who will turn 32 next season and would prefer to avoid a fully-vested fourth year. “It’s a smart move,” said one player agent. “It means they don’t have to bid against themselves.” “Maybe he gets out there and finds out there’s not a better deal for him,” says another.
One Western Conference executive thought Lowry could get four years and $100 million. Another agent felt confident would get $30-million a year. The catch? Both thought the deals would be from another team. “I’ve heard he wants out, like, yesterday,” said the executive. “From an agent and a player.” Said the agent: “I just heard from a team that they think they are going to get him.”
I’ll sneak in one Raptors question while we’re on the subject. With Kyle Lowry going into free agency, will you recruit him? DeMar DeRozan: Last go around when he was up for free agency, I never once called him and said what he should do. He’d tell you himself. I’ll take the same approach. At the end of the day, he has to make the right decision for himself and his family. No matter how close we are, I never fool with that part of it. When you have a family and that dynamic comes into play, you have to do what’s best for you. He has to be able to live with whatever decision he makes, and as a friend I just have to support him.
Storyline: Kyle Lowry Free Agency
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September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "There’s no room for players who do not want to get vaccinated"

“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 280 more rumors

Kyrie Irving following and liking conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines

Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
Storyline: Coronavirus Vaccine

At least 50 NBA players yet to receive a single COVID-19 vaccine dose?

A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”
Storyline: Coronavirus Vaccine
In their sit-down interview back in August, Durant and Green rehashed the incident and how it ultimately affected KD’s decision to leave the Warriors. Surprisingly, KD claimed it wasn’t the beef itself that pushed him away, but the way Steve Kerr, Bob Myers and the front office handled things. “It wasn’t the argument,” the former Warriors star said. “It was the way that everybody … Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that would put a mask over everything. I really felt that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that. We had to get that s— all out.”