Restricted free agent Jonathon Simmons is already attracting interest from other teams, but the San Antonio Spurs want to keep him and have already planned an offer for the forward, according to ESPN's Marc Stein:
Word is San Antonio has been preparing an offer for fast-developing restricted free agent Jonathon Simmons in the $9 million range annually— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2017
Paul Garcia of Project Spurs thinks this could end up being a 4-year, $36 million year contract offer. It would be the most the Spurs could offer him without dipping into their cap space, since Simmons is an Early Bird free agent:
4-year deal by my understanding would look something like this:— Paul Garcia (@PaulGarciaNBA) June 30, 2017
Y4: 9.3 https://t.co/y9hl0RY4Cr
Ideally, Simmons would agree to the contract and the Spurs would sign him last, keeping his tiny cap hold on the books and preserving cap space. Nine million a year might not be enough to convince Simmons to stay, however, since he may get bigger offers from other teams that the Spurs will be forced to match in order to keep him.
The good news is that if the Spurs match any offer he gets, no matter how big the total amount, he will be paid $8.4 million and $8.9 million in years one and two of his new deal, respectively, due to the Gilbert Arenas provision. The bad news is that the back end of his contract could get ugly. If another team offers him, say, a four-year, $48 million contract, in years three and four his cap hit would be around $15 million.
If this sounds familiar, it's because the Rockets signed Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to those type of deals in 2011. They managed to pry both away because the Knicks and Bulls refused to match due to luxury tax and cap flexibility concerns that would have come into play after the first two years of those contracts.
Regardless of possible cap-related complications, re-signing Simmons seems to be a priority for PATFO. If he agrees to their offer outright, the Spurs would be retaining a quality rotation player at a good value. If he instead signs an offer sheet for more money with another team and forces San Antonio to match, the Spurs will have a tough decision on their hands. Free agency is heating up. It's going to be fun to see what happens.