While lounging in the pool a few weeks ago, Payne unexpectedly received a call from Williams. “I jumped out of that pool so fast,” Payne recently recalled with a smile. They spoke about their time together in Oklahoma City, and about how much Williams values consistency, maturity and practicing gratitude. The Suns offered Payne a two-year contract, which covers the Orlando restart and includes a $2 million team option for the 2020-21 season (per HoopsHype’s database). “It was almost like a weight lifted off my back,” Payne said, “because the only thing I wanted to do is be back in the NBA. … “I don’t know what it is, but (Williams) always has the right things to say to me. And for whatever reason, it triggers me to just turn into a different mode. I appreciate that (phone call) from him.”
October 26, 2020 | 7:49 pm EDT Update
Tyronn Lue’s first coaching staff with the Clippers is taking shape, with the team nearing agreements with several key assistants. Miami assistant Dan Craig, former Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson and Larry Drew, a former head coach who most recently served on Lue’s Cleveland staff, have committed to join the Clippers as assistants, though their hiring is not yet official because deals have not been finalized, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
The Toronto Raptors have another city lining up to host them next season. Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes has thrown Kansas City’s hat in the ring in the event Toronto is unable to play the 2020-21 NBA campaign north of the border. “Bring them to KC!” the superstar quarterback wrote on social media Monday.