Editor’s note: We’ve updated this story following the 2017 NBA draft.
Kobi Simmons and Chance Comanche went not selecting during the 2017 NBA draft.
Simmons had been projected as a late second-round pick.
Simmons, Comanche and Brandon Ashley in 2015 are the only Wildcats to go undrafted after leaving Arizona early to declare for the draft.
Simmons, a former McDonald’s All-American, averaged 8.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and two assists per game in his lone season in Tucson.
He shot 40 percent from the field, 33 percent from 3-point range and 78 percent from the free throw line.
Simmons’ playing time took a hit when Allonzo Trier returned to the Wildcats’ lineup and he never seemed to recover.
He started 19 games for Arizona, but played sparingly toward the end of the season.
Prior to Thursday night, several NBA mock drafts didn’t list him in the first round projections.
Simmons signed with an agent in April.
RELATED: Wildcats in NBA draft
Simmons in NBA mock drafts
SI.com: Simmons to the Nets in second round (No. 57 overall)
Jeremy Woo writes: “After an underwhelming year at Arizona, Simmons remains a strong athlete but has a long way to go toward actually playing in the NBA. He could make sense for the Nets as a project.”
nbadraftroom.com: Simmons picked by Nuggets in second round (No. 51 overall)
It writes: “Long lead guard prospect with a lot of natural play-making ability.”
draftsite.com: Simmons selected by Jazz in second round (No. 55 overall)
nbadraft.net: Simmons goes to Hawks in second round (No. 60 overall, which is the last pick)
seccountry.com: Simmons taken by Jazz in second round (No. 55 overall)
tankathon.com: Simmons picked by Spurs in second round (No. 59 overall)
mynbadraft.com: Simmons selected by Nets in second round (No. 57 overall)
Note: Simmons fell out of Draft Express’ mock draft, where last month he had been projected to go to the Spurs at No. 59 overall.
Kobi Simmons, a guard from Arizona, talks during the Phoenix Suns pre-draft workout on Monday, May 29, 2017 at Taking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
More on Simmons and the draft:
azcentral sports’ Doug Haller detailed Simmons’ workout with the Suns:
“Simmons (6-5, 166 pounds) is trying to show he can play the point. At Arizona, he played mostly off the ball, averaging 8.8 points and 2.0 assists. He didn’t shoot well – 43.2 percent from 2-point range and 32.7 from 3 – but his explosiveness was hard to ignore. In his first college game, Simmons scored 18 points against Michigan State, helping the Wildcats rally from an early double-digit deficit. In a January win over UCLA, he posted 20 points, six rebounds and five assists.
“At the same time, Simmons’ season didn’t end well. Once wing Allonzo Trier returned from suspension, his role decreased. Simmons averaged just 6.1 minutes over Arizona’s final seven contests, falling nearly out of coach Sean Miller’s rotation. After the season, his decision to test the draft process wasn’t much of a surprise.
“Simmons played the point at the NBA combine earlier this month. He also played it at times throughout high school. In fact, Suns assistant general manager Pat Connelly saw Simmons – then with a U.S. Select team – play the position in 2015 during a tournament in Treviso, Italy.”
The Arizona Daily Star‘s Bruce Pascoe got Arizona coach Sean Miller’s reaction to Simmons’ NBA choice:
“Kobi and his family are very transparent and I think they wanted to get it started,” Miller said. “As you know, he’s one of the most athletically talented, gifted kids we’ve had. If you look at where he is now physically, it’s scary to think where he’ll be three or four years from now. He’s continuing to make that transition from high school point guard to pro point guard. So there’s a development process he’s going to go through whether he was here or whether he’s in the NBA game or wherever he’s at.”
What do you think? Would Kobi Simmons have been better off staying at Arizona? Will he get drafted? If so, where? Share your thoughts in the comments.
To see photos of the Arizona Wildcats’ 68 NBA draft picks, including draft position and other information, click here.
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