Young wing Anfernee Simons is one of the key assets the Portland Trail Blazers could use to find another star to team up with Damian Lillard this summer.
Rumors continue to point in the direction of Portland using Simons and the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft as part of a package to lure another star to the Pacific Northwest.
According to this report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Blazers are open to moving Simons. It could come as part of a broader trade with the third pick. It could also be a separate deal as general manager Joe Cronin looks to remake the Blazers’ roster.
What we do know is that Simons would draw a ton of interest on the trade block. He just turned 24 years old and is coming off a breakout season with Portland.
- Anfernee Simons stats (2022-23): 21.1 PPG, 4.1 APG, 45% shooting, 38% 3-point
Teams won’t shy away from acquiring a young wing who still boasts a tremendous amount of upside. Here, we look at three Simons trade scenarios from the Blazers.
Related: Updated NBA trade rumors
Simons to Indiana Pacers in four-player swap
- Pacers get: Anfernee Simons, Jusuf Nurkic, future 2nd-round pick
- Blazers get: Myles Turner, Buddy Hield
This move wouldn’t necessarily eliminate a more blockbuster trade involving the No. 3 pick. It would get tricky from a financial perspective for Portland, but Cronin could work something out.
In a vacuum, the Blazers have been targeting Turner for some time now. He’s among the best low-post defenders in the Association and has proven that for some time now. He also upped his game offensively in 2022-23, averaging 18.0 points to go with 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. As for Hield, he’d provide instant scoring off the bench (16.8 PPG in 2022-23).
This deal also makes a ton of sense for Indiana. The idea would be to create an elite young trio out on the perimeter. Point guard Tyrese Haliburton is coming off an All-Star season. Bennedict Mathurin (16.7 PPG) earned All-Rookie honors this past season. Simons would only add more scoring for a Pacers squad that wants to compete for a playoff spot in 2023-24. They’re also able to keep their first-round pick (No. 7 overall).
Related: Top 100 NBA free agents of 2023
Portland Trail Blazers land Pascal Siakam in blockbuster trade
- Raptors get: Anfernee Simons, Keon Johnson, 3rd pick
- Blazers get: Pascal Siakam
Is the third pick and Simons too much for Portland to give up for a player in Siakam who might have dwindled trade value? We’re not seeing it. Regardless of whether he fell out of favor in Toronto, Siakam is still among the best two-way forwards in the game. Last season saw him average 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. The dude would be an absolutely legit fit with Lillard. This deal also wouldn’t preclude Portland from pulling off a separate trade.
The Raptors also find themselves in a weird situation after a .500 season and following the firing of head coach Nick Nurse. We have no idea what the plans are for Masai Ujiri and Co. What we do know is that the status quo is not working. Acquiring Simons and one Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller would go a long way in changing the dynamics in Canada.
Washington Wizards start rebuild around young wing
- Wizards get: Anfernee Simons, Keon Johnson, Nassir Little, 3rd pick, future 1st-round pick
- Blazers get: Bradley Beal
Fresh off hiring former Los Angeles Clippers general manager Michael Winger to run things, the Wizards could very well be headed into full-scale rebuild mode. It makes perfect sense given the team’s lack of relevance with Beal leading the charge over the years.
Starting anew should include acquiring the highest possible pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. In this scenario, Washington picks up the third selection. It would then take whoever is left between stud guard Scoot Henderson and talented forward Brandon Miller. Adding Simons and two other youngsters to the mix would help expedite the rebuild in D.C., too.
As for Portland, just imagine Beal and Lillard teaming up in the backcourt. We’re talking about two players who can consistently drop 30 points. That’s a dynamic pairing. Add in the presences of Shaedon Sharpe and Jusuf Nurkic, and this would be a team ready to compete out west.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.