2 Blazers that have earned untouchable status, 3 that should be cut loose

Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn - USA TODAY Sports
Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn - USA TODAY Sports /
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Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Jaime Valdez – USA TODAY Sports /

Untouchable No. 2: Anfernee Simons

Simons has been a hot topic of discussion as far as what the Blazers should do with him. On one hand, he’s not the best fit next to Lillard due to their overlapping skill sets. Both players are elite shooters and scorers but could be better on the defensive end and are undersized at their position.

However, the pros outweigh the cons when determining whether or not to keep Simons.

He’s only 23 and has significantly improved his play in the past three seasons. In those years, Simons has increased his average scoring output from 7.8 to 21.1 points. In addition, he’s hovering around 40 percent shooting from three.

Not only is he a huge scoring threat, Simons has also shown improvement as a facilitator in the past three seasons, jumping from averaging 1.4 to 4.1 assists per game.

Similar to how the Warriors incorporated offensive-minded guard Jordan Poole around Steph Curry, there’s a way the Blazers can find a way to make the roster work by integrating more two-way players around the two guards.

Lillard is 32; although he and Simons have some overlapping skillsets, keeping Ant on the roster allows the Blazers to transition to their post-Lillard-era timeline smoothly.

With the emergence of  Sharpe and Simons, the Blazers have a good one-two punch for the future.