1:00pm: Having spoken to Simmons’ representatives, Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link) says they are no longer in talks with the Spurs. Referring to today’s move as “last call,” Young strongly suggests a reunion isn’t in store for Simmons and San Antonio.
11:27am: The Spurs continue to negotiate with Simmons as an unrestricted free agent, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
If that’s the case, it seems the team may have simply rescinded Simmons’ qualifying offer rather than renouncing his rights entirely. Withdrawing Simmons’ QO would leave the Spurs with his Early Bird rights, while renouncing him would leave only the bi-annual exception or Non-Bird rights for a new deal.
11:04am: In a surprising move, the Spurs have renounced Jonathon Simmons, making him an unrestricted free agent, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). Today is the last day for teams to withdraw qualifying offers for restricted free agents, so San Antonio made the move just before the deadline.
A former undrafted free agent out of Houston, Simmons played a career-high 78 games for the Spurs last season, averaging 6.2 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 1.6 APG in a part-time role for the club. Although he has played just two years in the NBA, Simmons will turn 28 in September.
Despite his age and his modest production last year, however, the 6’6″ swingman has been viewed as one of the more intriguing players on the shooting guard market, given his two-way potential and his ability to play a key role for the West’s second-best team. Simmons also took on a larger role in the postseason, averaging 15.3 PPG and 3.3 APG in the Warriors’ four-game sweep of the Spurs.
The Kings, Clippers, Knicks, and Timberwolves are among the teams that have expressed interest in Simmons since free agency got underway, though most of those clubs no longer have the flexibility to make a competitive offer. Sacramento still has some room left, and under-the-cap clubs like the Nets and Sixers could be worth watching as well.
The Spurs’ decision to renounce Simmons is somewhat unexpected, considering the team was said to be preparing an offer in the range of $9MM annually for him at the start of free agency. However, San Antonio may have viewed Simmons as a non-essential piece after using the mid-level exception to bring Rudy Gay aboard.