After weeks of patiently waiting, Orlando Magic fans finally got a marquee free agent. While Jonathon Simmons is not a household name, he should challenge for a starting position on an Orlando roster devoid of talent.
Here’s a look at the Magic’s roster with their 2017 draft picks and the signing of Simmons. This is a projected starting lineup which could look different at the start of the season.
C- Nikola Vucevic, Bismack Biyombo
PF- Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac (R)
SF- Jonathon Simmons, Terrance Ross, Wesley Iwundu (R)
SG- Evan Fournier, Mario Hezonja
PG- Elfrid Payton, Shelvin Mack, D.J. Augustin
There is likely to be lively debate among Magic fans about who will start between Isaac, Simmons and Ross. Heavy has Simmons starting over Ross, as he gives the team a few things the team has been lacking. The Magic could ease Isaac into the rotation early making him an unlikely candidate to start. Look for Ross and Simmons to battle for a starting spot come training camp.
Simmons gives the Magic position versatility at both the two and three position. New Magic brain trust Jeff Weltman and John Hammond have targeted players like Simmons who can play multiple positions.
The new front office has chosen a pair of Jonatha(o)ns to start their rebuild. The Magic selected Isaac with the sixth pick in the 2017 draft. Isaac is expected to get minutes at both forward positions.
Simmons had initially been a restricted free agent which allowed the Spurs to match any offer Simmons received. However, San Antonio elected to renounce Simmons’ rights allowing him to sign with the team of his choosing without any restrictions.
He has had an interesting journey to the NBA. Despite being 27, Simmons enters just his third NBA season. After going undrafted, Simmons eventually made the D-League, and was brought up by the Spurs.
Simmons has some of the tools to be a 3-and-D type player. It is worth noting that Simmons three-point shooting took a step back last season. He shot 38 percent from three his rookie season, but dropped down to 29 percent last season.
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