Former San Antonio Spurs wing Jonathon Simmons is working his way back into the NBA after failing to sign with a team in the offseason.
Few players have the background story of former San Antonio Spurs wing Jonathon Simmons, a 6-foot-6 athlete with sound defensive instincts and a versatile offensive repertoire. Now 30 years old, Simmons notoriously paid to try out for the Austin Spurs before becoming a 26-year-old rookie in the 2015-16 season.
Simmons worked his way up as a G-Leaguer before making the main squad in San Antonio. He leveraged his 133 games with the silver and black into a contract with the Orlando Magic a year and a half later, finally getting the payday he dreamed of. Simmons averaged 13.9 points and 3.5 boards per game with the Magic in the 2017-18 season, and got traded to Philadelphia in the following year for former No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz.
Things didn’t work out too well for Simmons in Philly. His role diminished before his eyes and the Sixers got bounced in the second round of the playoffs, forcing them to make a change this summer. They traded Simmons to the Washington Wizards, who then waived the Houston-native in order to avoid his $5.7 million non-guaranteed salary in favor of a $1 million payout.
In efforts to display he can immediately contribute to a #NBA roster, I’m told ex #Spurs guard Jonathan Simmons will sign with #Warriors G League squad in Santa Cruz. Simmons had two 10-day contact offers with NBA teams on the table as well @CNBC #SportsBiz pic.twitter.com/fq7Hey0yiY
— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) February 24, 2020
Former Spurs beat reporter Jabari Young reported yesterday that Simmons, who had two 10-day contract offers on the table, would sign with the Santa Cruz Warriors instead to work his way toward an NBA comeback.
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The most noteworthy performance of Simmons’ Spurs career came in the 2016 season opener against the Golden State Warriors. He piled on 20 points, four boards and three assists off the bench as San Antonio made a statement by blowing out the eventual champions.
San Antonio has an open roster spot and needs some depth on the wing, so you’d have to wonder whether or not the Spurs offered him a 10-day deal to return. Still, he’s more natural at the 2-guard spot and that’s the position with the most depth in San Antonio this season, so his chances to prove himself once more would’ve been limited anyway.
Hard work and diligence have paid dividends for Simmons in his playing career, so you’d have to think that’ll be the case once again as he plays for Golden State. The Warriors are the worst team in the league as they cope with various injuries, so Simmons may have a chance to prove himself against NBA competition as we get deeper into the season.
Wherever he goes, Spurs fans will continue to root for Simmons as one of the feel-good stories of the last five years in the Alamo City.