San Antonio Spurs Rumors: Suns nearly traded for Jonathon Simmons

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 22: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks to Jonathon Simmons
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 22: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks to Jonathon Simmons /

The San Antonio Spurs nearly traded Jonathon Simmons to the Phoenix Suns, before renouncing his rights.

On Thursday, the San Antonio Spurs renounced Jonathon Simmons’ rights, making him an unrestricted free agent. This is according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. The qualifying offer was worth $1.6 million.

However, before the Spurs did this, they shopped Simmons for a sign-and-trade, according to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News. It came after contract talks “stalled” between the Spurs and Simmons, as the former wouldn’t offer the mid-level exception for the 2017-18 season worth $8.4 million.

As a result, a deal was attempted with the Phoenix Suns. It nearly led to a trade which didn’t happen:

After talks on a new contract stalled, a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns was presented. The deal featured the Spurs getting center Tyson Chandler in exchange for Simmons, but at the last minute, the Spurs backed out of the trade, not wanting to take on the remaining two years and roughly $26 million on Chandler’s deal.

According to league sources, Simmons’ representatives then spoke with Spurs officials late Wednesday in Las Vegas, where it was requested he become an unrestricted free agent. The team granted the request Thursday morning, the last day teams can pull qualifying offers.

Spoke to Simmons' reps, they are not talking to #Spurs -there is no new deal being discussed. Last call was renouncing his rights. That's it

— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) July 13, 2017

This contrasts Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN’s report, who said Simmons and the Spurs were still talking.

More from San Antonio Spurs Rumors

Chandler would have plugged a hole at center for the Spurs, which they had before Joffrey Lauvergne signed and after Dewayne Dedmon left for the Atlanta Hawks. The report didn’t include when the trade talks happened, but it would make sense if they took place before Lauvergne signed on Monday.

As for Simmons, his time in San Antonio looks finished. He finished two seasons there, his first two in the NBA. There, he averaged 6.1 points and 1.9 rebounds on 45 percent shooting. The Houston product also had a highly-regarded defensive reputation.

In the 2017 playoffs, Simmons broke out with 10.5 points on 45 shooting and 35 percent from beyond the arc. He received extra time when Kawhi Leonard got injured in the Western Conference Finals.

Next: Predictions for Spurs' remaining FA

Simmons can sign anywhere he wants, without the Spurs being able to match his offer. Where will he go?