According to a report from MLive’s Brendan Quinn, Michigan’s latest pickup, transfer guard Jaaron Simmons, has opted to forego the 2017 NBA Draft and will be joining the Michigan Wolverines for next season. This is huge news for a Wolverine team waiting on two more NBA Draft decisions.
At Ohio, Simmons was easily the team’s most productive player, averaging 36.0 minutes, 15.9 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. He was also key late in the season, scoring double-digits in the team’s final seven games of the season.
As a recruit, Simmons originally committed to Houston as a relatively unheralded prospect. Of course, he did later transfer to Ohio, where he become the most productive player for the Bobcats last season.
With the graduation of star guard Derrick Walton, there was significant pressure on Michigan to find an answer at point guard. Rising sophomore Xavier Simpson looked like a decent option on paper, but he was far from proven. Simply put, the team needed an experienced player in the backcourt that could get the job done.
But with Simmons set to join the Wolverines for next season, the team answered at least one of its biggest questions for the upcoming season. Simmons was a really productive player in the MAC that is good enough to play in the Big Ten. He might not be a star, but Michigan at least has a proven option at a crucially important position.
The pressure will now be on Moritz Wagner and DJ Wilson. Both players declared for the NBA Draft earlier this offseason and have far more intrigue into their decisions. Unlike Simmons, both Wagner and Wilson could easily hear their name called on Draft night. As such, it will be a tense few weeks for Michigan fans.
However, even if Wagner and Wilson don’t return, Michigan knows it should have at least one more quality option in the backcourt next season. Simmons is an interesting player and fans will get to see him next fall.