Former Clippers swingman Bobby Simmons agreed to a five year, $47 million deal with the Bucks on Friday, his agent Mark Bartelstein said.
"Bobby intends to sign with the Bucks when the moratorium ends," Bartelstein told ESPN.com. "He was very appreciative of the opportunity that the Clippers gave him but felt like this was the best opportunity for him."
The move is the clearest signal yet that the Bucks are serious about competiting for a championship this year. In the past week, they signed the No. 1 pick in the draft, Andrew Bogut, agreed to a six-year, $90 million dollar deal with Michael Redd and began the on the court rehab for point guard T.J. Ford.
The Bucks have two more significant free agents, Dan Gadzuric and Zaza Pachulia, that they are also trying to re-sign.
Simmons will join Desmond Mason, Jiri Welsch and Redd to form a pretty potent combination at the shooting guard and small forward positions. Mo Williams and hopefully Ford will take care of the point. Their only area of weakness now is at the four where Joe Smith is the only big guy holding down the fort.
The loss of Simmons, coming on the heels of the rejection by free agent Ray Allen, is yet another blow to the Clippers. Simmons had a breakout year for them and was a key to their success this season. However, head coach Mike Dunleavy was uncomfortable paying Simmons, who has played well for just one season, that type of money.
The Clippers could also lose free agent Marko Jaric this summer, putting into serious question their hopes of making the playoffs next season.
Simmons won 2004-05 NBA most improved player honors in his second year with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Bucks also hired Terry Stotts as their new head coach Friday.