With Damian Lillard out with his abdominal injury, chances are he would decline to play in the 2022 All-Star game — which will be held in Cleveland, February 18-20 — even if the fans voted him in, or members of the media were to. So if Lillard does not participate, who could represent the Portland Trail Blazers this year?
Most had hoped CJ McCollum would make his first All-Star team after averaging career points of 23.1 per game last season. However, with McCollum suffering his lung injury and yet to return, he will have to watch the game like Lillard.
The player most likely to represent Portland, and to participate in an event during the Cleveland weekend is Anfernee Simons.
Anfernee Simons a good candidate to represent the Portland Trail Blazers at All-Star Weekend
If you remember, Simons competed in and won the Slam Dunk Contest during the 2021 All-Star festivities in Atlanta, defeating New York’s Obi Toppin in the finals. He was also the first Trail Blazer to win the competition. Usually the NBA invites the reigning champion to defend the title, so the chances are good Simons will return this year.
What about Simons competing and participating in the Three-Point Contest? He is making 2.3 threes per game, while attempting 5.8 for a 39.6 percentage, good for 42nd amongst the league leaders this season for three pointers made. Lillard has made the most for Portland this current season, averaging 3.2 per game, seventh in the NBA, for the record.
If you are hoping someone from the Blazers represents them at Cleveland, Simons most likely would be the player this season to do so. Although you can still continue to vote for Lillard. More than likely he would appreciate your vote even if he doesn’t participate.