June 21, 2021 | 5:16 pm EDT Update
Brian Windhorst: Ben Simmons is doubtful to play for Australia in Tokyo Olympics, sources said. Will spend offseason working on skill development. Aussies scheduled to begin training this week in L.A.
LA Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon have emerged among the leading candidates and advanced to second interviews in the Portland Trail Blazers’ search for a head coach, sources told ESPN. Both assistants are set for additional meetings with Portland officials in the coming days, sources said.
Chris Fedor: #Cavs GM Koby Altman will be the team’s virtual representative at tomorrow’s draft lottery, sources tell @clevelanddotcom
Kawhi Leonard’s road to the Clippers’ franchise is at the heart of a lawsuit in LA County Superior Court involving NBA legend Jerry West, a verbal contract and a phone call. Plaintiff Johnny Wilkes claims he helped the Clippers sign Leonard as part of a $2.5 million agreement with West. The Clippers describe the lawsuit as a “shakedown,” but on Monday Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Jon Takasugi signaled the case will move forward.
Wilkes and Leonard’s uncle are best friends, giving Wilkes a direct connection to the NBA star’s inner circle according to the complaint. On June 28, 2019, less than a month before Leonard signed with the Clippers and days before he became a free agent, Wilkes says he and West spoke over the phone about reaching out to Leonard’s camp. At the time, Leonard had a contract with the Toronto Raptors, but Wilkes said he would be able to assist the Clippers in luring Leonard to California.
Just like in basketball, the Clippers argue there’s a difference between an assist and actually scoring the deal. The team says Wilkes merely passed on a phone number to West while Wilkes claims he acted as the go-between for the Clippers and Leonard’s camp.
June 21, 2021 | 4:55 pm EDT Update
Tim Reynolds: Two more Olympic developments to watch in the coming days, per people in the know: Paul George and Chris Paul are still in decision-making mode. With CP3, it’s obviously a bit more complicated now, but there are some who believe there’s still a real chance he decides to play.