San Antonio Spurs‘ wing Jonathon Simmons is a potential NBA free agent the Chicago Bulls should consider this summer. There are vastly different reasons why he would be a perfect fit for a Bulls’ team filled with wing players. Acquiring a player such as Jonathan Simmons would be a huge step forward for the Bulls, whom most believe are not willing to take a step back. Adding Jonathon Simmons would not break the bank.
The Bulls should have around $15 million in cap space to use for free agency according to Sportrac. That will be enough to add a solid role player. The recent narrative has been made about the need for more shooting, but getting more athletic is a not so distant second on the Bulls’ wishlist. Unless the Bulls unload a contract or two during the offseason, there will not be a lot of money available to go after a top free agent.
As it currently stands, the Chicago Bulls will either have to look at the trade market or bargin bin of free agency to add depth. Bringing in someone who has a lot of upside or is on the cusp of becoming a solid contributor would be ideal. Each year usually includes a gamble or two by the Bulls’ front office. This season that gamble should be Jonathon Simmons.
Simmons is the type of player that would interest the Bulls a great deal. His story (courtesy of KSAT.com) has become one of legend. Moreover, a happy ending is the expectation.
As far as upside goes, Jonathon Simmons has an abundance of it. Whether or not he is a system player has yet to be determined, but many people should point to his performances in the playoffs as a measuring stick.
How good Simmons can be was on full display against in the series with the Golden State Warriors. Simmons filled in admirably for Spurs’ star Kawhi Leonard, who injured his ankle (courtesy of SB Nation) in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
Simmons 2017 playoff average of 10.5 points a game is not indicative the type player he is. His game is beginning to take shape. At this stage, Jonathon Simmons is an athletic slasher, who is still developing a three-point shot. His ball-handling improved over the course of the season, as has his defense. What needs growth is his shot selection.
What the Chicago Bulls and any other team interested in Jonathon Simmons must pay attention is when he decides to shoot.
Simmons played in a free-flowing offense with the Spurs. Often, he would not take advantage of his shot opportunities, perhaps not to disrupt the Spurs. Once Leonard went down, there were times when Simmons took matters into his own hands.
It is unknown if the Chicago Bulls have interest in Jonathon Simmons, but other teams do. According to ESPN New York, the New York Knicks have a strong desire to add the Spurs’ wing.
Another team that is intrigued by Simmons’ potential are the Brooklyn Nets, but do not count out a Spurs’ return.
What complicates Jonathon Simmons’ market is the fact he is a restricted free agent. A team with a ton of cap space such as the Nets can come in and offer a huge contract. Some people anticipate that Simmons could get a deal somewhere near $15 million annually.
Would the Chicago Bulls be willing to engage in a bidding war? Probably not. Especially given the fact that the Spurs can match any contract offer Simmons would receive, but his fit with the Bulls is perfect.
Simmons needs one more season to prove that he is not a system player. Playing with another organization, such as the Bulls, Knicks or Nets would go a long way. He would part of the Bulls’ second unit given how their roster is constructed. That is not a slight, but being a sixth man for one season would go a long way.
The Chicago Bulls starting five was quietly one of the best units in the NBA. It was the bench that did them in. Adding Simmons strengthens the second unit by giving them a plus-defender, shot creator and scorer. With another season under his belt, Simmons could slide into the Bulls starting lineup, just as Dwyane Wade’s contract is up. It would be a seamless transition.
Jonathon Simmons also has the hunger to be a better player, which would mesh well with the Chicago Bulls. Whether or not the Bulls are interested, remains to be seen. However, they should be. Simmons is the type of gamble the Bulls have taken historically. He would pay huge dividends for the Bulls if they attempt to sign him.
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