2. Trade Anfernee Simons
Simons averaged 21.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 2.6 rebounds in 35.0 minutes per game last season. The 24-year-old keeps getting better, but the Blazers have a difficult decision to make. Damian Lillard and Scoot Henderson are both 6’2. They form a small backcourt, and Simons is just 6’3. Portland cannot afford to have three starters under 6’4.
The Trail Blazer rebuffed every offer for Henderson ahead of the draft. Will they try to trade arguably the greatest player in franchise history? Lillard wants to finish his career in Portland, and the seven-time All-Star would have to request a trade to get moved. That leaves Simons squarely on the trade block to clear their glut of small guards.
Trading a young 20-point-per-game scorer is never easy and giving up the best player in the deal is always difficult for a team with aspirations of contending. The Blazers need pieces. They have a legend and one with the potential to be an all-time great. Portland has to find the right players to go around them. Trading Simons for a starting center and role players is the franchise’s path to doing that.
The Portland Trail Blazers must nail this trade or it could quickly turn into the end of an era.