Anfernee Simons says he’s “pretty sure” he’ll be back with the Trail Blazers next season, Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report tweets. “We both have a mutual interest in coming back,” Simons said of being a restricted free agent this summer. “I’m pretty sure it will get done.” Simons expressed back in February he “100 percent” wanted to re-sign with Portland — it seems nothing has changed since then.
We have more from the Northwest Division:
- Damian Lillard expects the Trail Blazers to return to prominence in the Western Conference next season and will have a say in the team’s roster building, according to Highkin (Twitter links). “A tough season, a lot of adversity this year,” Lillard said. “A lot of things came up that we didn’t expect. But I want you to know one thing: this will not continue. Next year, we’re going to be back better than before.”
- Nikola Jokic gained a $534,484 bonus when the Nuggets made the playoffs again. The incentive was considered likely before the season and has no cap implications, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Jokic is a prime contender for the Most Valuable Player award once again but he knows there’s plenty of worthy candidates, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. “To be honest, I think there is a lot of guys that are playing at an extremely high level,” he said. “I’m just trying to be humble, to stay on the ground. … I don’t think about that to be honest, am I one of the best? I’m just trying to win the game.”
- Timberwolves coach Chris Finch signed a multi-year extension on Monday and the team’s top executive was glad to lock him up long-term, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes. “He’s just a joy to work with,” executive VP of basketball operations Sachin Gupta said. “I think the results on the floor are clear, just the drastic improvement from last year to this year, with really little change to the roster. I think he and his whole staff deserve a ton of credit for that.” Finch said, “I feel like there’s a pathway we can see to keep getting better and better. I’m just really excited to be able to say that these guys believe in what I’m doing.”