The Latest on NBA free agency (all times EDT):
Derrick Jones Jr. has signed a minimum deal with the Miami Heat, after playing with them on a two-way contract last season.
The 6-foot-7 wing played in 14 games with Miami last season, starting eight. His NBA career remains best known for his appearance as a member of the Phoenix Suns in the 2017 dunk contest at All-Star weekend, an invite that came even though he had spent the bulk of his time that season in the G League.
He could help the Heat in at least two ways — one being depth, the other being affordability. Miami does not have much in the way of financial flexibility this summer, with the luxury tax threshold looming and the Heat trying to keep Wayne Ellington.
Jones is playing in Summer League for the Heat, starting Monday in Sacramento.
The Philadelphia 76ers are getting to make their pitch to LeBron James.
Representatives from the team will meet in Los Angeles with James’ agent Rich Paul on Sunday, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. James will not take part in the meeting, the person said.
The Sixers —and their fans— have made no secret of their desire to land James, who would instantly make them NBA title contenders. Philadelphia has young stars in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid to entice James, who was flattered earlier this year when a company erected billboards in Ohio urging him to join the Sixers.
The meeting was first reported by ESPN.
___ Tom Withers in Cleveland.
The Toronto Raptors aren’t letting guard Fred VanVleet get away.
A person with knowledge of the contract says the club has reached an agreement with VanVleet on a two-year, $18 million deal. The person spoke with The Associated Press Sunday on condition of anonymity because the deal can’t be finalized until Friday.
In his second season with Toronto, VanVleet, a restricted free agent, averaged 8.6 points and was a valuable backup to Kyle Lowry. VanVleet bounced between the D-League and Raptors in his 2016-17 rookie season, but the former Wichita State improved his game and has been rewarded.
— AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds
Aron Baynes, who started virtually every game last season with Boston, is staying with the Celtics.
A person familiar with the negotiations says Baynes has agreed to a two-year deal worth $11 million. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized.
The second year is at Baynes’ option, meaning he could be a free agent again next summer.
Baynes had 19 double-figure scoring games last season for Boston, including playoffs — and the Celtics went 17-2 in those games.
The 6-foot-10 center averaged 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds last season.
— AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds
A person familiar with the discussion says LeBron James was in contact with the Cleveland Cavaliers when NBA free agency opened.
Shortly after the 12:01 EDT a.m. start on Sunday, Cavs general manager Koby Altman spoke on the phone to both James and his agent Rich Paul, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussion.
James is an unrestricted free agent and the Cavs are hoping to re-sign the three-time champion, who is weighing whether to change teams for the third time in eight years. James was in Los Angeles and is also being pursued by the Lakers, who have enough salary-cap space to sign him and another star player.
There was a flurry of big-name signings in the first hours of free agency, but James remained noncommittal. The 33-year-old is not expected to drag out a decision that could reshape the league’s landscape.
— AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland.