Spurs have $9 million offer ready for Jonathon Simmons
For someone who once paid $150 just to get a try-out in the NBAD-League, the $9 million the Spurs are reportedly preparing to offer Simmons is akin to discovering a gold chest. Marc Stein of ESPN got a whiff of that rumor:
Word is San Antonio has been preparing an offer for fast-developing restricted free agent Jonathon Simmons in the $9 million range annually
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2017
Simmons, a pending restricted free agent, was among the surprises of the 2016-2017 season, playing a key role mostly off the bench for the Spurs. In the season-opener, Simmons stole the show amid a slew of stars, scoring 20 points with four rebounds in a 129-100 upset of the Golden State Warriors. He finished the regular season with averages of 6.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. He ramped up his production in the playoffs, putting up 10.5 points per contest.
Simmons is also a valuable piece defensively, often relied on by coach Gregg Popovich to cover the opposing team’s best wing. This is especially the case when Kawhi Leonard is off the court, as perfectly demonstrated by this tweet from ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh:
Can't say enough about Jonathon Simmons. James Harden shot 1-5 w/6 TO when guarded by him in Game 5 and 6. Simmons +32 with 18 pts tonight.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) May 12, 2017
Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report has this to add to Simmon’s defensive capabilities:
He was also a formidable perimeter defender throughout the year. Opponents shot 7.4 percent worse from three-point range and 5.0 percent worse from beyond 15 feet than their normal averages when Simmons guarded them in 2016-17, per NBA.com.
The Spurs own Simmons’ bird rights, which is an advantage for the team looking to retain the Houston native.