Simmons could still be in Clippers' plans

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers will likely take the rest of the week to decide whether to commit to forward Bobby Simmons for the rest of the season, according to a team source.

Simmons' second 10-day contract ends on Monday. Before the Clippers’ game against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said the team planned to sign Simmons for the rest of the season.

However after the game it became clear the team needed more time to decide whether to commit its final roster spot to Simmons for the rest of the season. The Clippers currently have 15 players on their roster after trading for swingman Nick Young on Thursday. Simmons is their only un-guaranteed contract.

The Clippers leave Los Angeles Monday for their last back-to-back-to-back of the season at Indiana, Oklahoma City and New Orleans. If he does not sign elsewhere in the meantime, the Clippers could conceivably re-sign Simmons when they return on Friday.

As much as Del Negro would like to re-sign Simmons for the rest of the season, they need to see how Young affects their rotation before giving up flexibility with their final roster spot.

Simmons, who was signed to a second 10-day contract on Mar. 9, has played in 12 games for the Clippers and averaged 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 32.7 percent from the field.

“Bobby’s done a really good job on team defense and gets his hand on a lot of balls,” Del Negro said. “He’s a really good guy. He’s a pro. I’ve really liked him. I know [Clippers general manager] Neil [Olshey] has liked him.”

This is Simmons’ second stint with the Clippers, having last played in Los Angeles during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. Simmons was called up by the Clippers after averaging 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 21 games for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League this season.

Simmons scored 13 points, grabbed 3 rebounds and dished out 1 assist in 24 minutes in the Clippers’ 108-100 win over the Sacramento Kings on March 1. Those were the first points Simmons had scored in an NBA game since 2009.

“I’m just trying to win games and play well,” Simmons said. “I’ve just tried to approach this in a professional way and come in and do what you need to do get better. I just want to be a good piece of the puzzle and go out there and do whatever coach asks me to do.”

A nine-year NBA veteran, Simmons had his most productive NBA season while with the Clippers in 2004, posting career-highs of 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists, en route to winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award that season.