The San Antonio Spurs raised a few eyebrows earlier Thursday when ESPN reported that the team had renounced the rights to Jonathon Simmons, making him an unrestricted free agent. A bit later, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said that the Spurs have agreed to a deal with Euroleague star Brandon Paul. Terms of the contract have not yet been disclosed.
Paul spent the 2016-17 season playing in Turkey before joining the Cleveland Cavaliers for this summer’s Las Vegas Summer League. Paul has been a standout with the Cavs during the summer circuit, as he’s currently averaging 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Paul is also connecting on better than 47 percent of his shot attempts, including 31.6 percent of his three-point tries.
Paul spent four seasons playing college ball at the University of Illinois. Over the course of his career with the Fighting Illini, the 6-foot-4 guard averaged 12 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. He averaged better than 16 points per game as a senior but wound up going undrafted in 2013. He played with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Summer League that year but wasn’t able to parlay his performance into an NBA contract.
Paul played a few seasons in Europe before inking a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers last summer. He played in a few preseason games with Philly before being cut.
The Spurs are also reportedly continuing to negotiate with Simmons. The team was reportedly dangling LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Green earlier in the summer, though nothing seems to have materialized as of yet. The Spurs have signed free agents Rudy Gay and Joffrey Lauvergne in addition to drafting former Colorado guard Derrick White last month.