NBA Buzz: Simons, Billups, Dinwiddie, Walker, Simmons

Anfernee Simons - USA Today Sports Images

Chauncey Billups was named coach of the Trail Blazers over the summer, as they hope he not only helps them go deeper into the playoffs but also brings out the best of each and every player on the team.

Anfernee Simons hopes that Billups will provide him tough love, Casey Holdahl of the team’s website writes.

“It’s been good, good feedback,” Simons said. “Tell me anything no matter what. Have no filter for me. And that’s the only way we’re going to get a better relationship and how we get better.”

Simons is off to the best start of his career, averaging 13.7 points per game on 51.5 percent shooting.

“I just think he’s so good, he’s so gifted,” Billups said. “The way that he can handle the ball, he can get to anywhere he wants on the floor, he’s a big-time shooter. So I’m always just trying to pump confidence into him.”

Simons has a chance to be a restricted free agent next offseason if Portland extends him a qualifying offer.

More NBA Buzz

  • There was speculation that Spencer Dinwiddie could return from a partially torn ACL injury last season during the playoffs. However, Nets head coach Steve Nash said it was never in the cards. “I personally don’t like it, I don’t think anyone in the medical staff thought it was fair to Spencer…So we didn’t bring it up,” Nash said. “We thought it was best to let him have his time to heal and further his career.”

  • Lonnie Walker IV wasn’t one of the rookies to sign a rookie scale extension prior to the season, but he’s using that as motivation, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News writes. “I think I’m more excited, more hungry. I’m starving more than ever,” Walker said. “I’m trying to stay active offensively and defensively and do what Pop (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) wants me to do.”

  • The Sixers have stopped fining Ben Simmons, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. She says part of the reason is that there’s a standard provision in players’ contracts that protects them when dealing with a mental health issue, as Simmons has reported to the team that he is dealing with a mental health issue.

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