Clippers sign Bobby Simmons
"Bobby has played in the league and he can make some shots and he can spread the defense for us," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I think he's a good team defender. I liked his workout. He was talking a lot on defense and we need our second unit to make some shots and give our first unit some rest. We'll see how he does. He's a good guy and a hard worker."
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Simmons, 31, averaged 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 21 games for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Developmental League this season. He last played in the NBA during the 2010-11 season, appearing in just two games with the San Antonio Spurs.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound swingman played two seasons with the Clippers from 2003 to 2005. He had the most productive season of his nine-year career in the 2004-2005, with career highs of 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists and winning the NBA's Most Improved Player award.
Simmons signed a free-agent deal with the Milwaukee Bucks in summer 2005, and his numbers have declined since. He averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in his first season with the Bucks, but hasn't averaged more than 7.8 points and 3.9 rebounds since then and didn't register a single point or rebound in his two games with the Spurs in 2010.
"It's a transition between being a young guy and now a veteran," Simmons said. "You appreciate the opportunities a lot more. After I left here I went into free agency and didn't really understand what it was and what it was all about. The game doesn't change. I still love it, I still want to play and I can't wait to get back at it."
After losing Chauncey Billups to a season-ending Achilles tear earlier this month and failing to sign J.R. Smith, who chose to sign with the New York Knicks after returning from China, the Clippers have been looking to add a veteran swingman to the roster.
The Clippers had 14 players on the roster before signing Simmons, who will wear No. 21, so they did not have to make any moves to make room for him.
Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.