Most Affected Trail Blazer #2: Anfernee Simons
Of all of the players that have been most affected by the sudden situational shift following the lottery, Simons is the best talent-wise. He’s found his name at the center of basically every trade rumor that one can imagine, to the point that the third pick and Simons as a package deal is too trite of a topic to consider anymore.
Most of this upheaval comes from the fact that Simons is both a great offensive player, and he is a poor fit for a contending Portland team. Simons averaged more than 20 points per game for the first time in his career last season, which coincided with starting every game he played in.
As one of the premier volume shooters in the league from deep, Simons developed into a guard that teams couldn’t ignore with the ball in his hands.
Sadly, he’s a small and poor defender, which is exactly what Lillard is too. Trying to play the two next to each other is a recipe for a turnstile impression on defense, which makes Simons expendable.
By packaging him with a top draft pick, the Blazers hope to reel in the type of needle movers that could help the team win a title.
Wherever Simons goes, he’ll hope to have the ball in his hands even more than before, as he always had to operate in Lillard’s shadow. While there is a path to Simons staying if Portland can swing another deal, it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll find himself swapping cities at some point during or after the NBA draft.