Philadelphia 76ers: Jonathon Simmons is now playing in the TBT

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

After playing sporadically down the stretch for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019, Jonathon Simmons is now playing for the Overseas Elite in The Basketball Tournament.

At this point, you kind of have to feel bad for Jonathon Simmons.

After working his way up from a four-year stand out at the University of Houston with no draft interest, to a player who won a roster spot with the Austin Spurs after paying for an audition, to an eventual rotational player and best friend of Kawhi Leonard, things haven’t gone too well for the 6-foot-6 shooting guard since he cashed in on a life-changing three-year, $20 million contract with the Orlando Magic on July 14th, 2017.

Now sure, Simmons almost immediately vindicated his contract with a career-high 13.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 29.4 minutes of action a night as current-Lakers head coach Frank Vogel‘s starting shooting guard in 2017-18, but that love affair quickly crumbled when Steve Clifford came to town.

More from Philadelphia 76ers

While Simmons still played alright in relief of his former wingmate Evan Fournier and 2017 first-round pick Jonathan Isaac, scoring 6.9 points in about 20 minutes of action a night, he quickly became expendable and was cashed in along with a pair of picks in a trade deadline skirting move to acquire Markelle Fultz and the remainder of his three-year, $25 million deal (with a *gulp* $12 million club option in 2020-21).

From there, Simmons has a cup of coffee with the Philadelphia 76ers, appearing in 15 regular-season games for an average of 14.6 minutes a night, but too often was relegated to the bench after losing a silent rotational tournament to fellow deadline addition James Ennis.

Philly was so interested in getting off of Simmons’ contract before free agency that they traded the not-nothing 42nd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft (Admiral Schofield) plus $2 million in cash consideration to get off his contract.

And that was that. From there, the Wizards waived Simmons, eating the remainder of his partially guaranteed $6 million deal, to focus on their bridge season without John Wall.

But, weirdly enough, that wasn’t the last we’d see of the less famous Simmons.

No, if you happened to tune into the Overseas Elite‘s bout against the Carmens Crew in ‘The Basketball Tournament’ (TBT), you may have noticed a familiar face on the court vying for a cut of a $2 million prize: point guard (huh?) Jonathon Simmons.

Though playing in TBT is obviously a bit of a downgrade from playing in the NBA, it’s not nothing. What is nothing, however, is the Overseas Elite’s chances of winning the ultimate championship for an unprecedented fifth straight season, because Simmons and company lost.

That’s right, after four straight tournament wins, adding Simmons to the squad sunk their chances.

Next. 76ers finally gain respect with home game on Christmas Day against Bucks. dark

Too be fair, Simmons didn’t play bad on his TBT national television debut, and very well could find himself fighting for a roster spot on a team in need of a backcourt defensive stopper (like the Los Angeles Clippers), but still, it’s hard not to look at where Jonathon’s career has gone since that lone season of success with Orlando. While it would have been nice for Simmons to come in and immediately become a solid sixth man for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2018, at least the team can move forward without Markelle Fultz’s albatross contract around their necks.