San Antonio Spurs: Jonathon Simmons reacts to his departure

By Rob Wolkenbrod
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: Jonathon Simmons
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: Jonathon Simmons /

After leaving the San Antonio Spurs for the Orlando Magic, Jonathon Simmons thanked the organization for his two years with them.

On Friday, the Orlando Magic signed Jonathon Simmons away from the San Antonio Spurs on a three-year, $20 million deal. This came one day after the Spurs renounced Simmons’ rights, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Signing with Orlando ended Simmons’ two-year run with the Spurs. It was his first seasons in the NBA, too, after making the team and debuting in the league as a 26-year-old. This led to him averaging 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists on 45 percent shooting.

On Saturday, after the deal became official, Simmons took to Twitter to react to his departure from San Antonio. He called it “one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make” and thanked the organization.

Arguably one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make. Thanks to the entire @spurs organization for the opportunity and love!

— The Jonathon Simmons (@ThaRealJsimms) July 16, 2017

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The Spurs were the first team to give Simmons an opportunity like this in 2015, and he stepped into a backup role immediately. He played 55 games in his rookie season, along with starting two games. The Houston product put up a 50 percent field goal percentage and a 38.3 mark from beyond the arc.

However, Simmons’ best numbers came in the 2017 NBA playoffs. He averaged 10.5 points on 45 percent shooting, which followed up on increased minutes when Kawhi Leonard went down with an injury in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. That gave Simmons a bigger opportunity to shine and help get a bigger contract than what he made the previous two years.

On the Magic, Simmons will look for increased playing time. He could get that at shooting guard or small forward, working in a rotation with Mario Hezonja, Jonathan Isaac, Evan Fournier and others.

As for the Spurs, they’ll look to replace his role and production at the same spot. There are in-house candidates like Kyle Anderson and Bryn Forbes, along with the recently-signed Brandon Paul.

Next: Free agency grades for the Spurs

Will Simmons find success outside of San Antonio? Who will replace him in the Spurs lineup for the 2017-18 season?