3 lineups Trail Blazers can use to replace Simons; who backs up Lillard?

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Anfernee Simons, Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, free agency
Anfernee Simons, Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Ryan Arcidiacono? Keon Johnson? Maybe even Shaedon Sharpe?

Lillard is averaging 36.2 mpg in 2022-23, leaving just 11.8 mpg left to be filled. Until now, Simons has filled most of those minutes at the point guard spot.

The current roster has three players who can play that position in Sharpe, Keon Johnson, and Ryan Arcidiacono.

Of these three, Johnson and Arcidiacono have the most experience as point guards. At The Webb School where he played his high-school ball, Johnson played both guard positions and often served as a primary ball-handler and facilitator for his team.

He also played some point guard during his time at the University of Tennessee.

The downside is that Johnson is seen as a raw prospect with some areas of his game that need improvement, though he is considered as a player with a lot of potential.

Arcidiacono is a 6-foot-3 point guard who is known for his high basketball IQ, toughness, and leadership. He is a solid ball-handler and passer who can knock down open shots from beyond the arc.

The downside is Arcidiacono is not known for his flashy play or elite athleticism. Despite that, he is a hard-working and reliable player who is willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win. He is considered a valuable contributor off the bench and a positive locker room presence.

All three of these players likely help fill those 11.8 minutes, and Sharpe is still a young player and has the potential to develop his game in new directions, so it’s possible that he could develop into a backup point guard in the future if he continues to work on his ball-handling, passing, and playmaking abilities.

We may even see players like Grant taking the ball up the court on some plays when Lillard is on the bench.

Next. 3 things to watch for that will determine the course of the Trail Blazers season. dark