Jonathon Simmons

Jonathon Simmons To Sign With Chinese Team

After participating in the Warriors’ recent in-market mini-camp, free agent swingman Jonathon Simmons has lined up a new deal with the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association, reports Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Simmons, 31, began his NBA career with the Spurs before signing with the Magic in 2017. He was subsequently traded to the Sixers in 2019 and then was acquired and waived by the Wizards during the ’19 offseason.

In four NBA seasons with three teams, Simmons averaged 8.3 PPG and 2.4 RPG with a .443/.317/.756 shooting line in 258 games (20.5 MPG). He had a reputation as a strong defender early in his career in San Antonio, though that rep wavered to some extent in Orlando and Philadelphia.

Simmons attempted to make an NBA comeback in February by joining the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s G League affiliate. That comeback effort was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, but his solid showing at the team’s mini-camp helped him earn an overseas opportunity.

Although Simmons will be heading to China for the 2020/21 season, it seems likely that the CBA season will end well before the NBA’s does, so a return stateside could be a possibility next year. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said last week that he thinks the veteran wing “still has years to offer in the NBA.”

Steve Kerr Offers Insight Into Warriors’ Mini-Camp

The Warriors reunited for their team mini-camp on September 23, and while veterans Stephen Curry and Draymond Green did not join the team for workouts, starters Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins did.

In speaking with media about the team’s progress in practices, head coach Steve Kerr noted that the team will not hold any more formal intra-squad scrimmages during its mini-camp, Nick Friedell of ESPN tweets. Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports that Wiggins is slated to depart the mini-camp this weekend, ahead of its official end on Tuesday (Twitter link).

Although Thompson, who missed all of the 2019/20 season due to an ACL tear suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals, did partake in some elements of the mini-camp, Kerr asserted that the veteran sharpshooter would most likely not participate in 5-on-5 team workouts, per Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link).

Friedell notes in a separate tweet that center Kevon Looney, who played in just 20 games during the 2019/20 season due to various ailments, has impressed Kerr during the mini-camp. Kerr said that if Looney looks the way he did in the 2018/19 season, he anticipates that the big man will be slotted back into the rotation at a regular 20-25 minutes per game.

This spring, Looney underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury which contributed to some of his absences during 2019/20. Looney will earn $4.8MM in 2020/21, with a $5.1MM player option for the ’21/22 season.

Meanwhile, free agent veteran swingman Jonathon Simmons was among the non-roster players who earned an invitation to the Warriors’ team mini-camp. Slater tweets that Kerr had high praise for Simmons’s performance in the mini-camp thus far, and alluded to the possibility that the free agent may have a future with Golden State.

“Possibly,” Kerr said. “We could use the length on the wing.”

Simmons most recently played for the club’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, in February and March.

Pacific Notes: Simmons, Thompson, Harrell, Caruso

Swingman Jonathon Simmons is among the non-roster players joining the Warriors for their mini-camp, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Simmons joined the Warriors’ G League team in Santa Cruz in February after having played a combined 56 games with Orlando and Philadelphia in 2018/19. Zach Norvell, Jeremy Pargo, Ryan Taylor, and Roger Moute a Bidias are the other non-roster players participating in the mini-camp.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Klay Thompson will be able to practice without restrictions, but there are still some questions to be answered during the Warriors’ mini-camp, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. While reports have been encouraging, Thompson still has to show he can regain the form he had prior to tearing his ACL. Kevon Looney, who underwent core muscle injury in May, could also answer some questions about his health if he looks sharp on the court, Poole adds.
  • The Clippers probably won’t re-sign forward Montrezl Harrell unless it’s a sign-and-trade scenario, Jovan Buha of The Athletic opines. The likely contract demands of the league’s Sixth Man Award winner, coupled with his limitations and subpar playoff performances, make him a prime candidate for a sign-and-trade, Buha continues. The team will also look for an upgrade at point guard, though there won’t be a lot of attractive alternatives in free agency.
  • Guard Alex Caruso has become an essential role player for the Lakers and the stats prove it, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times notes. In Caruso’s 18.4 MPG during the regular season, the Lakers were 9.8 points per 100 possessions better than their opponents. During the postseason, the Lakers’ best defensive lineups have often been with Caruso on the court. He can become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

Jonathon Simmons Eyes NBA Return

Guard Jonathon Simmons will sign with Warriors G League affiliate in Santa Cruz in an effort to gain another NBA contract, Jabari Young of CNBC tweets.

Simmons had two 10-day contact offers with NBA teams on the table but chose a different path to revive his career, Young adds. 

There’s been little news regarding Simmons since he was waived by the Wizards over the summer. Washington averted paying his full $5.7MM salary for this season by cutting ties with him, though Simmons did receive a $1MM guarantee.

Washington acquired Simmons along with the 42nd pick in a draft-day trade with the Sixers, sending cash considerations in return. The Wizards used that pick to select Admiral Schofield of Tennessee.

Simmons appeared in 15 games with Philadelphia after being acquired last February in a deadline deal, along with two draft picks, for Markelle Fultz.

Simmons, 30, went undrafted out of Houston in 2012, but was able to earn a spot on the Spurs‘ roster in 2015. He played two seasons with San Antonio before signing a three-year, $20MM contract from the Magic in 2017. Simmons enjoyed a career year in his first season with Orlando, averaging 13.9 PPG in 29.4 MPG.

He played a combined 56 games last season between Orlando and Philadelphia, averaging 6.5 PPG. Overall, Simmons has averaged 8.3 PPG in 258 career games.

Jonathon Simmons Released By Wizards

The Wizards have waived Jonathon Simmons, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. He had just a $1MM guarantee on his $5.7MM salary for next season.

Washington acquired Simmons along with the 42nd pick in a draft-day trade with the Sixers, sending cash considerations in return. The Wizards used that pick to select Admiral Schofield of Tennessee.

Simmons, 29, went undrafted out of Houston in 2012, but was able to earn a spot on the Spurs‘ roster in 2015. He was impressive enough in San Antonio to earn a three-year, $20MM contract from the Magic in 2017. Simmons played a combined 56 games this season between Orlando and Philadelphia, averaging 6.5 points per night.

By parting ways with Simmons, Washington will gain a little breathing room below the luxury-tax line. Having acquired Davis Bertans from the Spurs earlier today, the Wizards projected to be a possible taxpayer, but removing Simmons’ $4.7MM partial guarantee from their books alleviates that concern for now.

Assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, Simmons will become an unrestricted free agent early next week.

Wizards Notes: Hachimura, Schofield, Simmons

Washington concluded a three-day minicamp today in which several notable players participated in full-court scrimmages and drills. No. 9 overall pick Rui Hachimura and No. 42 overall pick Admiral Schofield were among the prospects participating in drills for the Wizards. Schofield believes the two rookies can play well together, as he told Hoops Rumors and other media members in attendance.

“I can play multiple positions. So can [Hachimura],” Schofield said. “He can play the wing and the forward. That’s going to make us pretty lethal. We just have to get used to the [NBA level] and how things are done here, understanding from the vets how to pace ourselves and how to play the game the right way.”

Schofield, whose rights were traded to the Wizards in the Jonathon Simmons deal on draft night, initially thought he was going to Philadelphia. The 22-year-old said he actually found out about his draft spot through Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter, as I recently passed along.

“[My agent] told me I was going to get picked…but I saw the tweet before my agent called, which was pretty cool. Woj is elite,” Schofield said.

Here’s more from Washington:

  • The Wizards and Jonathon Simmons have agreed to move back the guarantee deadline on his deal from July 1 to July 8, sources confirm. Fred Katz of The Athletic was the first to report the news.
  • While no definite decision has been made, last year’s second-round pick Issuf Sanon is likely to spend another season abroad, a source tells Hoops Rumors. The organization is impressed by the progress Sanon is making. “He came back lighter,” assistant coach Robert Pack said during a session with the media. “He’s playing with a little more confidence.”
  • Hachimura said undrafted free agent Justin Robinson has helped him adjust to living in Washington D.C., as he told Hoops Rumors and other media members in attendance. “He’s from [the area],” Hachimura said. “Justin’s great…we talk a lot.” Robinson, who has been referred to by the team as the 61st pick in the draft, is expected to play for the team’s G League, as Candace Buckner of The Washington Post recently wrote.

Trade Details: Jazz, Warriors, Lakers, Magic, More

NBA teams weren’t allowed to send out more than $5.243MM in trades during the 2018/19 league year, but the Jazz entered last Thursday’s draft will that full allotment still available, and made use of it during the second round.

According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter), the Jazz sent their own unprotected 2021 second-round pick along with $1MM in cash to the Pacers in order to acquire the No. 50 overall pick. Utah used that selection to nab Charleston forward Jarrell Brantley.

The Jazz also traded for one more selection near the very end of the draft, sending $2MM to the Warriors in exchange for the rights to No. 58 pick Miye Oni, tweets Pincus. In total, Utah gave up $3MM and a future second-rounder to acquire the two picks in the 50s.

Here are a few more leftover trade details from draft night, courtesy of Pincus:

  • The Warriors sent an even $1MM and their own 2021 and 2023 unprotected second-round picks to the Pelicans in order to acquire the rights to No. 39 pick Alen Smailagic, Pincus tweets.
  • The exact amount of cash the Lakers sent to the Magic to acquire the rights to No. 46 pick Talen Horton-Tucker was $2,226,778, according to Pincus (Twitter link). That was precisely the amount that Orlando was still eligible to receive. The Lakers’ own 2020 second-round pick was also sent to the Magic in that deal.
  • In the deal that saw them send the draft rights to Bol Bol (No. 44 pick) to the Nuggets, the Heat received $1.2MM in cash and will get either the Nuggets’ or Sixers’ 2022 second-round pick (whichever is lower), Pincus reports (via Twitter).
  • In exchange for Jonathon Simmons and the No. 42 pick, the Sixers acquired $2MM in cash from the Wizards, according to Pincus, who adds (via Twitter) that Washington didn’t require Simmons to pass a physical.

Sixers Trade Jonathon Simmons, No. 42 Pick To Wizards

JUNE 21: The trade is official, according to a press release from the NBA.

JUNE 20: The Sixers are trading Jonathon Simmons and the No. 42 overall pick (Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield) to the Wizards for cash considerations, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Wizards are likely to acquire Simmons with the $6MM trade exception they created in the Otto Porter trade. Marks further notes that Simmons has $1MM in guaranteed salary for next season, with the $4.7MM in remaining salary for the 2019/20 season guaranteed if the 29-year-old guard is not waived by July 1.

The trade will enable the Sixers to create $1MM in more cap space in the unlikely event that Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris both leave in free agency.

The Deadline Deals That Didn’t Happen

The Raptors were close to acquiring Nikola Mirotic, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports on his podcast. The power forward would have been part of a three-team trade with the Pelicans and Magic in the proposed framework. Toronto didn’t have the expiring contracts that New Orleans was seeking and Mirotic was instead sent to the Bucks.

Toronto shifted its focus back to Marc Gasol and acquired the big man from Memphis in exchange for Jonas ValanciunasDelon WrightC.J. Miles, and a 2024 second-round pick.

The Hornets came close to acquiring Gasol before some “last-minute haggling,”  ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes. Charlotte had a lottery-protected first-round pick on the table for most of the week leading up to the deadline. Lowe passes along more deals that were discussed behind the scenes. Here are the highlights from his latest piece:

  • The Sixers offered two second-rounders to the Pelicans for Mirotic and prior to trading for Tobias Harris, Philadelphia and New Orleans discussed a Markelle Fultz-Mirotic swap. Fultz was dealt to the Magic for Jonathon Simmons and a pair of picks.
  • The Hornets pursued a deal for Harrison Barnes, dangling a first-round pick to the Mavericks, Lowe adds in the same piece. Dallas would have had to take back long-term money in the potential deal, something that it wasn’t willing to do.
  • The Nets and Grizzlies briefly discussed sending Allen Crabbe to Memphis along with a first-round pick (Denver’s 2019 selection) in exchange for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green, sources tell Lowe. Tax concerns led Memphis to shy away from acquiring Crabbe, who will take home approximately $19MM next season.
  • Several teams attempted to pry Andrew Wiggins from the Wolves without giving up much in return. Minnesota was uninterested in giving Wiggins away.
  • Kris Dunn was available at the deadline but the Bulls weren’t looking to deal Zach LaVine. Lowe writes that Chicago may have only considered trading LaVine if it received an overwhelming offer, something that was unlikely to occur.

Magic Acquire Markelle Fultz From Sixers

6:58pm: The Sixers have officially traded Markelle Fultz to the Magic for Jonathon Simmons, a protected 2020 first-round pick and 2019 second-round pick, the teams announced in press releases.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Markelle [Fultz] to the Magic family,” president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said. “This is an incredible opporunity for us to add a former No. 1 draft pick to our roster and to add depth to our backcourt. We will provide Markelle with the best possible support at his own pace and look forward to his future contributions.”

1:45pm: The Sixers are trading former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz to the Magic, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). In exchange, Philadelphia will receive Jonathon Simmons, a future Thunder first-round pick, and a future Cavs second-rounder from Orlando, tweets Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

It’s a huge decision for the 76ers, just a year and a half after then-GM Bryan Colangelo sent the No. 3 pick (Jayson Tatum) and a future first-rounder to Boston in exchange for the right to select Fultz first overall.

The former Washington standout has barely seen the court since then, having been sidelined by shooting issues that some observers believe are mental. Fultz was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in December and continues his rehab process.

A source tells Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) that Orlando will be patient with Fultz, taking the long view and potentially sitting him out the rest of this season if needed. However, the club will continue pushing for a playoff spot in the East this season.

Smith suggests (via Twitter) that the Magic opted to include the Thunder first-rounder in the deal so they’d only part with Simmons rather than Terrence Ross — Ross will remain with Orlando and help the team’s efforts to make the postseason.

The Thunder pick involved in the swap is OKC’s 2020 selection, which is top-20 protected and will turn into 2022 and 2023 second-rounders if it’s not conveyed next year. The pick, which was originally traded to Philadelphia for Jerami Grant, was subsequently sent to Orlando in a draft-night trade in 2017 for Anzejs Pasecniks. Now it’s headed back to Philadelphia.

The second-round pick included in the deal is technically the most favorable of Cleveland’s, Orlando’s, Houston’s, or Portland’s 2019 second-rounders. For now, that projects to be the Cavs’ pick.

In addition to those draft assets, the Sixers will acquire Simmons, a wing with some size who can immediately step into the club’s rotation. In 41 games this season for Orlando, Simmons averaged just 6.9 PPG on .364/.229/.778 shooting, but he was much better in his first year with the Magic, posting 13.9 PPG on .465/.338/.768 shooting in 2017/18.

Between this deal and their James Ennis swap with the Rockets, the Sixers were able to add two wings for depth purposes today while also replenishing their collection of draft picks that took a hit in Wednesday’s Tobias Harris trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.