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Spurs Rumors: San Antonio could possibly reunite with Jonathon Simmons

SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 4: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Jonathon Simmons #17 of the Orlando Magic talk after the game on November 4, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 4: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Jonathon Simmons #17 of the Orlando Magic talk after the game on November 4, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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SAN ANTONIO,TX – NOVEMBER 4: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the Orlando Magic drives on Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on November 4 , 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX – NOVEMBER 4: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the Orlando Magic drives on Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on November 4 , 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

San Antonio could use some extra depth on the wing this season, and the Spurs rumors of a reunion with Jonathon Simmons could help solve that problem.

According to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, former San Antonio swingman Jonathon Simmons will be on the trade market this season which has fired up the mill of Spurs rumors as we near the trade deadline.

Simmons emerged as a versatile wing during his two seasons in San Antonio, but he’s been a disappointment in Orlando after they signed him as a free agent in the summer of 2017.

Simmons’ playing time has decreased as he’s fallen out of the Magic’s starting lineup this season, and it looks like they’re willing to move on from him.

The Spurs don’t have much depth behind Rudy Gay at the wing position, and we’ve seen the team struggle a bit when he’s been sidelined with injuries twice this season.

What would a Jonathon Simmons trade look like, does he fit in the current iteration of the Spurs, and what would San Antonio have to give up in a potential deal?

Next: Jonathon Simmons' time with the Spurs

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- MARCH 9: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a lay up during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 9, 2017 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- MARCH 9: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots a lay up during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 9, 2017 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jonathon Simmons’ time with the Spurs

Jonathon Simmons’ winding path to the NBA was well-documented during his time in San Antonio as he was yet another successful reclamation project by the Spurs’ organization.

Simmons broke into the Spurs’ rotation in 2015-16 where he scored 6 points with 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 14.8 minutes per game. Simmons’ playing time increased to 17.8 minutes per game in 2016-17 where he slightly improved in the points, rebounds and assists categories.

Related Story. Orchestrating a Spurs trade for Nikola Vucevic

Simmons had a true shooting percentage of 58.6% in 2015-16 compared to 50.4% in 2016-17, but his real plus-minus numbers were much better in 2016-17 than 2015-16 thanks to a major improvement on defense.

Simmons would enter Pop’s doghouse every once in a while due to a lack of discipline, but he ended up playing very well in 20.4 minutes per game in the 2016-17 playoffs.

That performance ultimately landed him a three-year $20 million contract in Orlando the following offseason.

Next: Simmons' fit in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 1: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the San Antonio Spurs goes up for a shot against the Houston Rockets during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 1, 2017 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 1: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the San Antonio Spurs goes up for a shot against the Houston Rockets during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 1, 2017 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)

Simmons’ fit in San Antonio

With the loss of Dejounte Murray to a preseason ACL injury and Rudy Gay missing time with an injured wrist, the Spurs don’t have many credible wing defenders.

Players like Jeremy Lamb have been able to exploit that weakness while Gay has been on the sidelines.

Related Story. Exploring a potential Markelle Fultz trade

Gay is expected to return soon, but San Antonio needs to add one or two reliable wing defenders to their roster in order to earn home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Simmons has been a solid defender this season in Orlando, and we’ve seen him succeed at that end of the floor in Gregg Popovich’s system.

I think Simmons could play an important role on this team and may be worth a flier for the rest of the season.

Next: What would the Spurs have to give up?

OAKLAND, CA – MAY 16: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket during the game against the Golden State Warriors during Game Two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 16, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – MAY 16: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket during the game against the Golden State Warriors during Game Two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 16, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

What would the Spurs have to give up?

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Simmons is technically in the second year of a three-year contract, but only $1 million of his salary for 2019-20 is guaranteed so it wouldn’t be difficult to dump him after this season.

With that contract structure, the Spurs would really only be committing to a one-year rental of Simmons

Each team’s salary cap situation could make this a difficult deal.

San Antonio couldn’t absorb Simmons’ salary without clearing some room. The Spurs could try to involve Pau Gasol and Quincy Pondexter in a deal, and Orlando could send Terrance Ross, who has also been involved in trade rumors, along with Simmons while the two teams figure out draft compensation.

Or the two organizations could try to find a third team to take on some salary in exchange for draft compensation.

The easiest scenario would involve the Magic buying out the remainder of Simmons’ contract and San Antonio signing him to a minimum contract after that buyout.

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The Spurs should take a chance on Jabari Parker. Next

If the reports are true that the Magic are shopping Simmons near the trade deadline, I think the Spurs should strongly consider making a move for one of their former players whether it be via trade or buyout.

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