Per the league source, Simmons could opt out of his contract with Liaoning if he lands a guaranteed NBA deal. However, that seems unlikely. Simmons, who not long ago was a key rotation player for good Spurs teams, had shown enough in the G League and in Golden State’s minicamp to warrant a training-camp invite with the Warriors or another NBA club. To land a guaranteed NBA contract, he would have had to first impress at training camp.
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Connor Letourneau: The Warriors were surprised by this morning’s news that Jonathon Simmons is signing in China. But according to one source, the Liaoning Flying Leopards are offering “a lot of money, which is hard to turn down when you’re just sitting at home waiting.”
Anthony Slater: Source: Jonathon Simmons, who participated (and impressed) in the Warriors’ recent bubble minicamp, is signing in China with the Liaoning Flying Leopards. Steve Kerr said he believes Simmons still does have “NBA years” ahead of him.
One of five G League players in minicamp with the Warriors, Jonathon Simmons, 31, is intent on showing Golden State’s front office that he is still the same defensive-minded wing who was once a key member of winning San Antonio teams. His chances of making the Warriors’ 15-man roster are slim, but he understands as well as anyone how to overcome long odds.
“I’m taking this opportunity for whatever the opportunity is going to be, and I’m just hoping for the best out of it,” said Simmons, who has arrived early to minicamp practices over the past week to work on the jump shot that hurt him in stops with Orlando and Philadelphia. “At this point, I’m just trying to control whatever I can control.”
“I’m a big fan of Jonathon’s,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “I love his story. I love how hard he had to work to get to the NBA. I really love his presence. … I think he belongs in the NBA.” Added center Marquese Chriss: “Personally, I think he’s a hell of a basketball player. … He has the all-around potential to make this team and make an impact.”
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October 21, 2020 | 7:31 pm EDT Update
Jared Weiss: Celtics announce Daniel Theis had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove a loose body. He is expected to be ready for training camp.
When Raymond Felton joined Ian Begley and SNY’s Chris Williamson on the latest edition of The Putback, he was asked about what advice he would give to Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, two young point guards trying to find their way while playing in the bright lights of New York. “Just confidence, man. Having confidence in yourself. Don’t get caught up in just all the pressure,” Felton said in this week’s Putback Extra. “There’s a lot of pressure to play in New York. It’s a lot of pressure. The fans in New York really love basketball, they really love their Knicks, and if you ain’t putting up, they’ll let you know. It’s a lot of pressure. If you can’t take it, and I’ve seen it hurt a lot of people’s careers.”
Felton explained that even if the young guards are struggling with their shots, there are other ways that they can impact the game and win over the New York fans. “That’s one thing I felt in that arena, it’s one thing that I felt from the fans. I think that’s the biggest thing I would help those guys with, just trying to be complete players,” Felton said. “Everybody thinks it’s all about scoring. ‘I’ve got to score all these points to get my money and get this contract,’ and it’s like yeah you do have to be able to put the ball in the basket, you’ve got to score, but there’s a lot of other things you can do, too, to get paid in this league.”
Mike Brown has been open about his desire to become a head coach again, and Kerr is optimistic that his friend and colleague will get that opportunity. Long known as a dogged worker with a borderline obsessive attention to detail, Brown, 50, has learned the importance of being flexible during his nearly half-decade with the Warriors.
“I don’t think I’ll ever lose my attention to detail and my want to have things be organized, but what being here has showed me is that, if it’s not that way, it’s not the end of the world,” Brown said. “You try to get the best out of the moment, knowing there’s going to be another time or date to circle back if you need to. Just keep it moving.”
Brown called working under Kerr “the best job I’ve ever had,” which is high praise considering that Brown’s resume includes a Finals run with the LeBron James-led Cavaliers and a stint as the head coach of Kobe Bryant’s Lakers. But over the past year, as Brown filled more and more notepad pages with Kerr’s soliloquies, he sometimes wondered how he’d handle a head-coaching job differently than he had in previous stops.
On Monday, BabyCenter released their most popular baby names list public, showing No. 24 and No. 2 increasing in popularity. The top-rising boy’s name for 2020 was Kobe. It landed at No. 216 on the list, moving up 379 spots. Gianna was listed as No. 24, coincidentally Kobe’s number, on the girls’ names list, after it jumped 52 spots.