The Latest: Kanter returning to East with Boston Celtics
The Latest on NBA free agency Monday (all times EDT):
Enes Kanter is coming back to the Eastern Conference, joining the Boston Celtics.
Kanter’s manager, Hank Fetic, wrote on Twitter that Kanter had agreed to two-year deal with the Celtics , with the second-year being a player option.
The Athletic reported that the deal would pay Kanter $10 million.
Kanter began last season with the New York Knicks and was playing well, averaging 14 points and 10.5 rebounds. But he lost his spot in the rotation when the Knicks wanted to focus on younger players, and he was eventually waived. The Turkish center then signed with the Portland Trail Blazers and ended up starting after Jusuf Nurkic’s season-ending injury.
All-Star guard Klay Thompson says on social media he is staying put with the Golden State Warriors, using a movie clip of Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” with the line “I’m not leavin!’”
Thompson posted on his Instagram account. He is expected to sign a five-year max contract for $190 million when the NBA free agent moratorium period ends, remaining with Golden State just as he had hoped for all along.
Last year, he made it clear again: “I’ve said it many times before: I would like to be a Warrior for life.”
Thompson had been scheduled for surgery this past week for a torn ACL in his left knee after he was injured during a Game 6 loss to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals. Neither the Warriors nor Thompson’s agent have confirmed whether he has had the surgery.
A person with knowledge of the details says the Knicks have agreed to a two-year deal with guard Elfrid Payton.
Payton was the fifth player added by the Knicks in the first two days of free agency, including the second who spent last season with the New Orleans Pelicans. New York first agreed to a contract with forward Julius Randle.
The Knicks also agreed to deals with Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson on Sunday, and the person confirmed that New York had added swingman Reggie Bullock early Monday. Then, Wayne Ellington reached agreement Monday before Payton.
The person says the second year of Payton’s deal is a team option. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot yet be signed. The deal was first reported by The Athletic.
Payton was limited to 42 games last season because of injuries, averaging 10.6 points and 7.6 assists. The No. 10 pick of the 2014 draft spent his first 3½ seasons in Orlando.
— AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney
Kyrie Irving says his decision to join the Brooklyn Nets is about wanting to play at home.
Irving grew up in New Jersey watching the Nets, and says he wanted to return to the area as a player.
He says in a video posted by Roc Nation Sports that “home is where my family is. Home is where I want my legacy to continue. And I’m happy to be in Brooklyn.”
Roc Nation, which announced Sunday it was now representing Irving, said the All-Star point guard had agreed to a four-year, maximum contract with the Nets.
Irving said early last season his intention was to remain with Boston, but changed his mind and joined Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan in picking the Nets on the first day of free agency.
Versatile guard Tomas Satoransky says he is headed to the Chicago Bulls.
The 6-foot-7 Satoransky set career highs by averaging 8.9 points, 5.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 80 games with Washington last season. Satoransky posted on Twitter he was “so excited and proud to be a part of #chicagobulls. Can’t wait to be on a court at United Center!”
A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press the Bulls are acquiring Satoransky in a sign-and-trade that sends draft pick compensation to the Wizards. The person also confirmed the Wizards had agreed to a $25 million, three-year contract with center Thomas Bryant and a $12 million, two-year deal with free-agent guard Ish Smith.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the moves.
The 6-foot-11 Bryant is staying in Washington after averaging 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 72 games in his first season with the Wizards. Smith played for Detroit the past three seasons, averaging 8.9 points in 56 games last year.
— AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich
Seth Curry is returning to Dallas as a free agent after a year away.
Two people with knowledge of the deal say Stephen Curry’s younger brother and the Mavericks have agreed on a $32 million, four-year contract. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because deals can’t be signed until Saturday.
The younger Curry had the best season of his career with Dallas in 2016-17, averaging career highs of 12.8 points, 2.7 assists and 29 minutes per game. He missed all of 2017-18 with a stress reaction in his lower left leg before joining Portland on a one-year contract last season. Curry averaged 7.9 points for the Trail Blazers.
The Mavericks were looking for a shooting guard to pair with rookie of the year Luka Doncic, the 20-year-old Slovenian who figures to be their starting point guard for years. With the Curry agreement, Dallas still has about $20 million in salary cap space.
Curry has the versatility to play both guard spots. So does Jalen Brunson, a second-round pick in last year’s draft after Dallas traded up to get Doncic as the third overall selection.
— AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon
Wayne Ellington and the New York Knicks have agreed on a two-year contract.
Ellington’s representatives, Priority Sports, announced the agreement Monday morning. A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the deal will pay Ellington $16 million. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because financial terms were not announced publicly.
ESPN first reported the agreement.
The Knicks will become the ninth team for Ellington, an excellent shooter who was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2009 NCAA Final Four when he led North Carolina to the national championship. He’s a 38% 3-point shooter for his career.
— AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds
The waiting for Kawhi Leonard’s decision continues.
And it might last for a few days.
Monday marks the first full day of NBA free agency — roughly $2.5 billion in contract commitments were made in the first six hours that followed the official beginning at 6:01 p.m. EDT Sunday — and there’s still many unanswered questions. Leonard is the biggest domino yet to fall, and as would be expected the NBA Finals MVP offered no hints if he’s decided to stay with Toronto or leave.
“We’ve got a visit with Kawhi here in the next day or so,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.
It’s believed that the Raptors will get the last meeting, with Leonard also likely to talk with the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers — possibly among others — before making up his mind.
Most of the other biggest-name free agents appear to have picked their new homes — or will be staying in their current ones. The biggest contract left, more than likely, is the $190 million, five-year pact that Klay Thompson is believed to be getting from the Golden State Warriors, although neither side indicated that the agreement was finalized Sunday night.