One of five G League players in minicamp with the Warriors, Jonathon Simmons, 31, is intent on showing Golden State’s front office that he is still the same defensive-minded wing who was once a key member of winning San Antonio teams. His chances of making the Warriors’ 15-man roster are slim, but he understands as well as anyone how to overcome long odds.
“I’m taking this opportunity for whatever the opportunity is going to be, and I’m just hoping for the best out of it,” said Simmons, who has arrived early to minicamp practices over the past week to work on the jump shot that hurt him in stops with Orlando and Philadelphia. “At this point, I’m just trying to control whatever I can control.”
“I’m a big fan of Jonathon’s,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “I love his story. I love how hard he had to work to get to the NBA. I really love his presence. … I think he belongs in the NBA.” Added center Marquese Chriss: “Personally, I think he’s a hell of a basketball player. … He has the all-around potential to make this team and make an impact.”
Kyle Neubeck: A summary of Philly’s depth problem last year: Jonathon Simmons, who was fighting for a spot in the Sixers’ playoff rotation four-ish months ago, is currently playing in the TBT game on ESPN right now
Fred Katz: Chance the Wizards don’t keep Jonathon Simmons, whose contract is only partially guaranteed before July 1. Wizards could look to trade or waive him before then.
Casey Keirnan: Source tells me Spurs never made Jonathon Simmons a single offer throughout free agency despite reports to the contrary.
Chuck Miketinac: Agent Cervando Tejeda on Spurs lifting "restricted" tag from Jonathon Simmons's free agency, "they did us a huge favor." "Pop understood where Jonathon was coming from, and what he wanted to do with his career,and the next steps, so he did us a favor for sure."
Jonathon Simmons: Arguably one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make. Thanks to the entire @spurs organization for the opportunity and love!
The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward Jonathon Simmons, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.
Jabari Young: From J-Simms to @ExpressNews ... "It's a business." He's happy with the 3-year, $20M deal signed with #Magic ... #Spurs .. story later
Jabari Young: League sources tell @ExpressNews news Simmons' with #Magic deal is 3-year deal $20 million all guaranteed. #Spurs
David Aldridge: All guaranteed money for Jonathon Simmons's three-year deal in Orlando, per source (@Adrian Wojnarowski first with agreement).
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent Jonathon Simmons has agreed to a three-year deal with the Orlando Magic, agent Cervando Tejada tells ESPN.
Shams Charania: Spurs free agent Jonathon Simmons has agreed to a three-year deal with the Orlando Magic, league sources tell The Vertical.
Jabari Young: Just to clarify something that has confused everyone. #Spurs still have Simmons' rights, they pulled the $1.6 QO. Still have Early bird
Mike Fisher: I'm told #Mavs are continuing to weigh the merit of a Jonathan Simmons pursuit. Seems pricy. Stay tuned.
David Aldridge: Strong interest in Jonathan Simmons, now a UFA after Spurs pulled QO. A couple of teams in front; decision could come by the weekend.
League sources tell the Express-News the Spurs didn’t offer Simmons their mid-level exception, which would give him a starting salary of $8.4 million next season.
According to league sources, Simmons’ representatives then spoke with Spurs officials late Wednesday in Las Vegas, where it was requested he become an unrestricted free agent. The team granted the request Thursday morning, the last day teams can pull qualifying offers.
Before the start of free agency, sources said Simmons had about 12 teams interested in signing him, including the New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers. But with a tight restricted free agent market, it became difficult to secure a deal.
Simmons and the Spurs have had no new negotiations since the qualifying offer was pulled Thursday, and Simmons has focused fully on signing elsewhere, agent Cervando Tejeda told The Vertical. Multiple teams were heavily involved throughout Simmons’ restricted free agency, but now will be more engaged with the unexpected renouncing of his rights, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent Jonathon Simmons is talking to several teams on the market now, league sources tell ESPN. No assurance he returns to Spurs.
Adrian Wojnarowski: San Antonio is still negotiating with Jonathan Simmons as an UFA, league sources tell ESPN.
Jabari Young: Can confirm #Spurs renounced Simmons ... now an unrestricted free agent. Sides couldn't reach an agreement on a deal or trade. Story coming.
Shams Charania: Sources: The San Antonio Spurs have renounced guard Jonathon Simmons, making him an unrestricted free agent.
The Spurs have not taken the “match-any-offer” path with Simmons, but they are expected to match reasonable offers, and sources indicated that they’d be willing to offer Simmons a contract in the range of $30 million over three years. Simmons is seeking an offer sheet that can beat that, and he has gotten interest from the Knicks and Kings, both of whom have the space to push Simmons into the three-year, $40 million range.
The Knicks have been in touch with Simmons but would probably need to trade Lee or O'Quinn to make a competitive offer for Simmons, one of the top young two-way players on the market. Earlier this week, Simmons was in active talks with two other teams. The Knicks probably need to make a move soon if they have serious interest in Simmons. Their recent contact with him would suggest they're at least open to that.
Steve Mills is in Orlando, looking at possibly clearing the decks for 2018 and 2019 free agency, according to sources. If free agency dries up for the Knicks (they still are in the forward mix for Phoenix’ Alan Williams and San Antonio’s Jonathan Simmons), a league source said they would look at a trade to fill in their cap space.
Knicks have reached out to Spurs restricted FA Jonathon Simmons, league sources say. Simmons is in active talks with 2 teams, per sources.
Beyond Gallinari and Gay, the Clippers also have interest in Jonathan Simmons, a rookie in San Antonio last year, and Miami’s James Johnson.
Jeff McDonald: As expected significant interest in Jonathon Simmons. Clippers, Minny especially interesting. He's restricted, so Spurs can match offers.
The Spurs already tendered a qualifying offer to Simmons, a homegrown talent, and because he's a restricted free agent, the team has a right to match any offer he receives -- something it won't do if competing offers get out of hand. A source confirmed the Spurs are working on an offer that would pay Simmons annually in the $9 million range.
Many in the Knicks' organization also are high on Spurs wing Jonathon Simmons (as are 29 other teams). But Simmons will be a restricted free agent, so San Antonio can match all offers made to the 27-year-old.
October 21, 2020 | 7:31 pm EDT Update
Jared Weiss: Celtics announce Daniel Theis had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove a loose body. He is expected to be ready for training camp.
When Raymond Felton joined Ian Begley and SNY’s Chris Williamson on the latest edition of The Putback, he was asked about what advice he would give to Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, two young point guards trying to find their way while playing in the bright lights of New York. “Just confidence, man. Having confidence in yourself. Don’t get caught up in just all the pressure,” Felton said in this week’s Putback Extra. “There’s a lot of pressure to play in New York. It’s a lot of pressure. The fans in New York really love basketball, they really love their Knicks, and if you ain’t putting up, they’ll let you know. It’s a lot of pressure. If you can’t take it, and I’ve seen it hurt a lot of people’s careers.”
Felton explained that even if the young guards are struggling with their shots, there are other ways that they can impact the game and win over the New York fans. “That’s one thing I felt in that arena, it’s one thing that I felt from the fans. I think that’s the biggest thing I would help those guys with, just trying to be complete players,” Felton said. “Everybody thinks it’s all about scoring. ‘I’ve got to score all these points to get my money and get this contract,’ and it’s like yeah you do have to be able to put the ball in the basket, you’ve got to score, but there’s a lot of other things you can do, too, to get paid in this league.”
Mike Brown has been open about his desire to become a head coach again, and Kerr is optimistic that his friend and colleague will get that opportunity. Long known as a dogged worker with a borderline obsessive attention to detail, Brown, 50, has learned the importance of being flexible during his nearly half-decade with the Warriors.
“I don’t think I’ll ever lose my attention to detail and my want to have things be organized, but what being here has showed me is that, if it’s not that way, it’s not the end of the world,” Brown said. “You try to get the best out of the moment, knowing there’s going to be another time or date to circle back if you need to. Just keep it moving.”
Brown called working under Kerr “the best job I’ve ever had,” which is high praise considering that Brown’s resume includes a Finals run with the LeBron James-led Cavaliers and a stint as the head coach of Kobe Bryant’s Lakers. But over the past year, as Brown filled more and more notepad pages with Kerr’s soliloquies, he sometimes wondered how he’d handle a head-coaching job differently than he had in previous stops.
On Monday, BabyCenter released their most popular baby names list public, showing No. 24 and No. 2 increasing in popularity. The top-rising boy’s name for 2020 was Kobe. It landed at No. 216 on the list, moving up 379 spots. Gianna was listed as No. 24, coincidentally Kobe’s number, on the girls’ names list, after it jumped 52 spots.
October 21, 2020 | 5:04 pm EDT Update
You brought it up, saying you want to help Porter take his game to the next level. That would require you being with the Cavs. Does that mean you’ve made the decision to pick up your option already? Andre Drummond: “As of right now I’m just focusing on what I can worry about. Working on my game. Right now, just worrying about what’s happening with the next couple of months, before the season, whenever it’s time to start, and when that time does come to make that decision everybody will know. Right now, I’m a Cleveland Cavalier. In terms of extending, we will find that out when the time comes around.”