With the how San Antonio offseason is shaping up, it seems likely that the Spurs are going to be asking Jonathon Simmons to play a bigger role for them next season.
Simmons has a team option for a little under $900,000 to return next season, and with the roster influx that is likely result from veteran players either retiring or not being re-signed, Simmons appears to be a cheap option to provide minutes off the bench at shooting guard.
With Manu Ginobili appearing likely to retire and Kevin Martin as a probable casualty to free up cap space, Simmons appears the next in line to be Danny Green’s primary backup at shooting guard.
He showed a lot of promise in limited minutes as a rookie last season, even garnering a few votes for the NBA All-Rookie Team. In the Spurs’ regular season finale, he scored 19 points, indicating the type of production he’s capable of in an expanded role.
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The Spurs have one draft pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, selecting at number 29 overall. Assuming that players like Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Andre Miller, Kevin Martin, and Matt Bonner don’t return, the Spurs will likely have enough cap space to go after one marquee free agent.
Boban Marjanovic is a restricted free agent, and it’s unknown what type of offer sheet he’d get from another team.
All things considered, the Spurs will probably only be able to afford one high-priced free agent acquisition. Considering that center and point guard look like higher priorities for the roster right now, that’s probably where that money will get spent.
If the Spurs are confident in their ability to grab an instant-impact player with their draft pick, center or point guard seems like the bigger need than shooting guard.
These logistical details bode well for Simmons ending up as the second-string shooting guard off the bench next season for the Spurs.
Simmons proved to be a great outside shooter last season, averaging nearly an attempt per game and making about 38% of his shots from downtown.
He also shot over 50% on his field goal attempts. Simmons ranked 7th on the team in points per 48 minutes.
He is capable of being a source of offense off the bench. With the Spurs likely to pursue other options besides shooting guard this offseason, Simmons should be prepared for increased playing time next season.