Cavs, LBJ Attempted To Add Jonathon Simmons In Free Agency

Jonathon Simmons believes he can be an elite player in the league and that mindset forced him to say no to LeBron James when the four-time MVP attempted to bring him to Cleveland.

“I even talked to LeBron James over the phone, and he was like, ‘We want you in Cleveland.’ And I said, ‘No, I want to play against you.’ I want to be able to play against elite guys and be able to, in a couple of years down the line, be just where they are,” Simmons said (via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel).

Salary also played a role in turning down the opportunity to join the defending Eastern Conference champs. “It wasn’t enough money, anyway. I have a family. I expressed that to him, which he kind of already knew. He said, ‘I respect that and I’ll see you soon,’” he added.

Cleveland has been over the salary cap since its first offseason with James back in town and because of cap constraints, the franchise was limited in what it could offer free agents this past summer. The most the Cavs could have offered Simmons was the taxpayer’s mid-level exception — it’s worth roughly $5.2MM, and the club used about half of it to sign Cedi Osman. Any deal with Simmons would also have come with serious tax implications for the Cavs since the team is a repeat offender.

Simmons, who’s been a solid fantasy basketball option this season, inked a three-year, $20MM contract with the Magic in July. He’s played 25.3 minutes per game this season and he owns a 25.5% usage percentage, a figure that ranks second on the team.

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29 thoughts on “Cavs, LBJ Attempted To Add Jonathon Simmons In Free Agency

  1. rxbrgr

    Technically the mini mid-level is worth $5.192m, but they only had that $2.55m left after signing Osman.

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  2. Thomas Swanson

    This is what former GM David Griffin was talking about on ESPN when he said LeBron holds his teams hostage.

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    • LordBanana

      LeBron recruiting quality role players = holding a franchise hostage?

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      • Thomas Swanson

        Griffin is the GM that put together the team that won the championship and played in 3 finals. He payed LeBron his salary and overpaid Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and Tristan Thompson because of LeBron. He’s probably glad he’s not with the Cavs any more because he doesn’t have to deal the the payroll after this season. The Cavs are repeat offenders on the luxury tax. The only way the owner will be able to get out of it is to let LeBron go.

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  3. Thomas Swanson

    Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and John Wall have signed their extensions. Has LeBron even been offered one?

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    • Thomas Swanson

      LeBron not signing a supermax extension that no one else can offer like, Wall, Harden, and Westbrook would relieve a lot of the concerns the Cavs have right now. Won’t happen. This is the biggest instance of LeBron holding the Cavs hostage. At his age this may be his last big contact and no one else can go the 5 years the Cavs can. He should have signed an extension by now.

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      • Luke Adams

        LeBron actually isn’t eligible for an extension since he signed his most recent contract less than two years ago.

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        • Thomas Swanson

          LeBron could sign a new contract today if he wanted. Don’t know if he could sign for 5 years because of his age (Like what happened to Nene in Houston). The Warriors were able to sign Livingston and Igaudalo with Durants help even after Curry signed the $34 million contract because they don’t have bad contracts. Hoops Rumors can check and see when LeBron can sign a contract. Harden signed the long term contract a year after he’d signed a new one with Houston.

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          • Luke Adams

            There are specific rules for when veterans can sign extensions. LeBron can talk to the Cavs about a new deal if he wants, but he isn’t eligible to actually sign or agree to anything until next July. Harden was eligible because the NBA grandfathered him in for the Designated Veteran Extension under the new CBA.

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            • Thomas Swanson

              I just looked if up LeBron was eligible for max entension. He may not be able to because of the rule Nene ran into. It said LeBron could have signed the 5 year contract last season. This is why I think he’s holding the Cavs hostage. Cavs owner said he wouldn’t take less than a young player and pick because he has to plan on future not knowing if LeBron will be there.

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  4. Thomas Swanson

    Ask LeBron if he’s worried about Kyrie and the Celtics yet!

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  5. Thomas Swanson

    LeBron trying to be GM, LeBron contolling team payroll. LeBron controlled former GM David Griffin and he said it on several ESPN shows. He should know. I’m sure this is only one of many instances. Mr. Griffin could probably write a book about it!

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  6. Thomas Swanson

    Steph Curry was the first Warrior to sign a contract and is the highest paid player in the league, then Durant took a pay cut to let the others sign. They aren’t overpaying like the Cavs with Smith, Thompson, Shumpert and Frye.

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  7. Thomas Swanson

    LeBron fans might disagree with what Griffin said. I’m a fan, but I agree with Griffin here. I admire Harden, Westbrook, and Wall. I’m a Pacers fan first, and live in Cleveland so I watch all their games. The fans in Indianapolis are mad as heck for holding the Pacers hostage. Me too!

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      • x%sure

        George said upfront what he wanted, and in plenty of time for the FO to react. They had good deals in hand but did nothing. No sympathy for stubborn FO millionaires.

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        • Thomas Swanson

          I know Larry Bird knew George was leaving at trade deadline even though he denies it. The Cavs owner thought he had a deal for George, so he set up a conference call with him to try and get him to sign an extension. This makes me think he’s offered LeBron one. The Cavs can’t trade LeBron and get something in return, he has a max contract with a no trade clause. What makes me mad about not signing an extension is I remember what happened after he left to go to Miami. That’s how they got Kyrie, and Andrew Wiggins so they could get Kevin Love.
          The Pacers didn’t want the Cavs deal because of Gary Harris and Iman Shumpert. The Pacers owner said he wouldn’t overpay anyone, and he has good contracts. He said no to Boston because Oladipo and Sabonis is a better deal than Crowder and 2 low 1st round picks.

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          • Thomas Swanson

            Also after Magic was warned about tampering, the Lakers new GM had many calls to George’s agent trying to get George to come to L.A. The only reason the league didn’t stop George from going to L.A. is they didn’t agree on a contract.

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          • x%sure

            Bird knew George was leaving way before that, or should have. Griffin knew Irving was likely to want out. Not doing something abput it when their trading value is high is Bird’s & Griffin’s fault.
            IDK if you’re sad or not about what you call a “hostage” situation but it’s not remotely tragic. If he’s going to sign longterm in July it’s because it’s the last chance to sign the big five-year max because of the age 38 rule. Otherwise he would continue to do 1 or 2 year deals and make the boss please!

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            • Thomas Swanson

              The Pacers would have taken Kyrie for George, same for the Bulls for Butler. The Cavs said no. The offers were made. The Pacers had an offer of Crowder, Smart, and 2 future low 2nd round picks for George and said no. The Cavs-Nuggets-Pacers deal was Love to Nuggets and Shumpert to Pacers-George to Cavs along with Ken Faried and Harris and 1st round protected pick to Pacers. Cavs owner thought he had a deal made and put a call through tp George. Ainge thought he was getting last bid. The Pacers called OKC and took trade after they hung up with Cavs. The Cavs owned is till upset.
              OKC fans booed Durrant when he returned. Cleveland fans booed Kyrie. Cavs fans booed LeBron when he returned with Miami. Pacer fans will boo George and Cavs fans will boo LeBron again if he leaves. That’s just the way it works. If Porzingas puts in 8 years with Knicks then leaves. They’ll boo him.
              LeBron will be 38. I think that means LeBron didn’t care about the max, he already has his money. He intended to leave. His string of Finals may be over. If he leaves Cleveland, it definitely will be.

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              • Thomas Swanson

                I didn’t say the hostage quote, the former Cavs GM David Griffin said it on Mike and Mike, the Jump, Sports Nation, and Sports Center on ESPN. I along with many others agree with him. LeBron is a good player, but he wants to eliminate the cap on max caps. That would be a disaster for the NBA. I hope LeBron does buy a franchise. Michael Jordon can tell him how it works.

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  8. Thomas Swanson

    Probably the biggest instance of LeBron controlling the team is he wanted a superteam, then he drove Kyrie out of town. Kyrie and Griffin are on the same page!

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  9. chiefivey

    send me 2.1 mil minimum. my family would be straight

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    • sirgant

      Well that would be dumb when you have 6.5 mil deal on the table.

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  10. dust44

    I feel like when Simmons says he has a family to think about means more like he wanted a multiyear contract more then the money factor. 1 year 2.5ish mill compared to his 4-20ish mill.

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