NBA Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers likely to trade Anfernee Simons for elite small forward

Portland Trail Blazers v Washington Wizards
Anfernee Simons could be traded with the Blazers' 3rd pick

The Portland Trail Blazers look ready to move on from Anfernee Simons after five seasons. The Blazers are set to have the third pick after Tuesday's draft lottery resulted in the San Antonio Spurs winning the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes.

According to The Athletic's John Hollinger, Portland could use their third pick to acquire an elite wing player. Together with the pick, the team could add Simons as part of the deal to give Damian Lillard help in the West. Although nothing is sure just yet, it could possibly happen as the organization has been trying its best to give Lillard a great supporting cast.

"Speculation is already widespread that a package of the third pick and Anfernee Simons might be used to snag an elite small forward," Hollinger wrote.

Simons was one of the most important players for Portland last season. The 2022-23 season was the first season in which he averaged 20 points. The fifth-year guard out of IMG Academy averaged 21.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 62 games.

Simons was behind Lillard in scoring and stepped up his game last season. However, even with his incredible outing, it wasn't enough to get Portland in the playoffs.

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You might also be interested in reading this: Who is replacing Anfernee Simons in the 2023 NBA 3-point shooting contest?


The Blazers made Anfernee Simons "untouchable" earlier this year

Brooklyn Nets vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Brooklyn Nets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Earlier this year, there were many trade rumors around the association regarding the Blazers. Aside from Lillard being part of rumors, Anfernee Simons was also dragged in the conversation of a few trade scenarios. To clarify things, Portland made both players untouchable before the deadline.

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Fast forward to the draft lottery, it seems as though the Blazers have changed their mind. With talks of trading a potentially franchise-changing asset, the Blazers are fixated in giving Dame help. This decision will give them a chance to possibly have a deeper run in the postseason.

The Blazers recently signed Simons to an extension last year, giving him a four-year, $100 million deal. With his breakout year and huge contract, it won't be difficult for the team to find him a reasonable trade suitor as he's proven he's a great talent in the NBA.

Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers' Anfernee Simons on the radar of rival teams


Which wing players could be traded for Anfernee Simons?

As the Blazers explore the market for Simons and their third pick, there are a few players who could be considered by the front office in the offseason.

The Golden State Warriors' Jonathan Kuminga is one player who could contribute for the Blazers, however, he doesn't fall under the spectrum of being an elite player. If Portland pursues him, the Warriors will have to give up more than Kuminga.

Another option would be to trade for Khris Middleton, who had a lackluster postseason for the Milwaukee Bucks. If the Blazers get him, they'll have another shot creator alongside Lillard, and that could turn things around for the franchise.

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Edited by Reign Amurao